If you have a child with special needs, are you working with a care manager?

For those of you who don't know what a "care manager" is, a care manager is usually a professional who will know your child and advocate for them. When we're working in the world of special needs trusts, a care manager can be an important piece of the team around your child to make sure that the right people are in the right place and your child is getting the right care.

Roles of a Care Manager

Care managers will often serve at least four different roles for you,

  1. Assess your child's needs ~ they'll be able to see what your child needs on a day-to-day basis and they can advise your trustee if more or fewer distributions are needed for your child.
  2. Develop a plan for those distributions ~ they can craft a plan for how much and when your child may need distributions.
  3. Help with the benefits regulations that your trustee is going to have to deal with ~ they're going to know what your child is entitled to under benefits from the government and make sure that the distributions don't disqualify your child from receiving their government benefits.
  4. Inform the trustee ~ the trustee is probably not going to interact with your child on a day-to-day basis, whereas the care manager probably checks in with them and understands what they're going through.

Now, one of the interesting quirks of having a care manager in the special needs trust world is that you don't have to wait to set up a special needs trust to find somebody else to help your child. You can start right now, you can go look for care managers, you may already be working with one. If you look at the different professionals who work with your child, chances are you may have the right person right under your nose ready to go. So that if it comes time to create a special needs trust for your child, you know just who to talk to.

Now, as you're working with a care manager, make sure you have your documents in order. If you don't have a special needs trust in place already and your child receiving government benefits, let's set up a Legal Strategy Session on my calendar to discuss special needs trusts and how they can be used to protect your child

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.