Creating a comprehensive estate plan is an important part of preparing for your and your family’s futures, especially if you have a loved one with special needs. Our knowledgeable attorneys can assess your goals and help you explore the tools that will help achieve them. From there, we will work closely with you to create a tailored plan that addresses all of your concerns. We will do everything we can to deliver the peace of mind you deserve.
Our lawyers at the Michigan Law Center, PLLC can assist you with:
. When you create an estate plan, you do more than dictate instructions for what will happen to your property after you pass away. You also take steps to ensure your loved ones will be cared for after you are gone, preserve your wealth for future generations, and protect yourself should you become incapacitated or disabled. We regularly create comprehensive estate plans and are familiar with a wide range of tools, including wills, revocable living trusts, powers of attorney authorizations, health care directives, HIPPA authorizations, dynasty trusts, life insurance trusts, family limited partnerships (FLPs), qualified permanent residence trusts, retirement trusts, minors’ trusts, generation-skipping trusts, guardianships, conservatorships, and more.
. A person’s estate must go through the court-supervised probate process when they pass away. If the deceased left behind a will, the named personal representative will typically be authorized by the court to oversee estate administration. The personal representative will need to notify heirs and creditors, review and pay valid creditor claims, inventory and appraise assets, file and pay the deceased’s taxes, and ultimately distribute property in accordance with the will’s instructions. These responsibilities can quickly overwhelm someone new to probate, but we can assist at each stage of the process. We understand how to efficiently move through probate in Michigan and can represent you and the deceased’s estate in any conflicts, including will contests.
. Receiving a court settlement can potentially endanger a special needs person’s eligibility for public assistance programs. We can help avoid disqualification issues through the implementation of special needs trusts, Medicare/Medicaid lien resolutions, Medicare Set Aside (MSA) arrangements, qualified settlement funds, structured settlement plans, and other planning strategies.
Special Needs Family Law
. Any family law conflict instantly becomes more complicated when a special needs child is involved. The best interests of the child should be the primary concern in a divorce, and modifications to divorce orders may become necessary as the child’s circumstances change. When a special needs child turns 18, they may still require substantial care and therefore need a conservator and/or guardian. We can guide parents or other loved ones through the process of becoming a conservator and/or guardian. Our firm can also help with including preferred conservators and guardians – as well as other forms of long-term planning – in your estate plan. Special Needs Divorce
. A special needs child can substantially influence how a judge decides disputes involving custody, support, and property division. If sole custody is awarded, a parenting time schedule must work to minimize unnecessary disruptions to the child’s life. A noncustodial parent may need to contest an initial child support amount if the child’s medical and special education expenses exceed what the state’s formula calculates. A parent may also request spousal support if they will continue to care for the child when they come of age. Finally, because Michigan divides property “equitably,” the parent who is primarily responsible for caring for a special needs child may ask for a greater share of marital assets. Our team can represent you in divorce proceedings and pursue a just outcome that protects the interests of your special needs child. Special Needs Planning
. Many people with special needs rely on ongoing financial assistance offered through government benefits programs, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. However, these programs enforce strict income and asset limits, making it difficult to directly provide for your loved one without endangering their eligibility. Special needs planning offers a range of solutions, including special needs trusts. We can help you explore all of these options and ensure your loved one’s benefits will be protected.