Creating an estate plan is a bit like going to the dentist; in that most of us know we should do it, but there's always an excuse to put if off a little while longer. In fact, over half of all Americans have yet to create an estate plan. One common excuse people give for not having an estate plan is they don't yet need one. So, when should you talk to an estate planning attorney about creating your estate plan? The answer is simple. Every adult should have at least a basic estate plan in place. … [Read more...] about When Should You Talk to an Estate Planning Attorney about Creating Your Estate Plan?
special needs planning
If you have a special needs individual in your family then you likely already know there are numerous challenges involved in caring for someone with special needs. Often, those challenges are financial. Unless you are operating with extremely deep pockets, there is a good chance that your special needs family member will need to depend on assistance from one or more of the federal and state assistance programs. Qualifying for those programs, however, can get tricky if your special needs loved … [Read more...] about First Party Special Needs Trust in Houston Texas
Similar to estate planning testamentary formalities, you must comply with the statutory formalities required for DNR Orders. You must sign your DNR-OOH Order in front of at least two witnesses. If you are unable to sign the document and authorize someone else to sign it on your behalf, the third-party signing agent must do it in front of at least two witnesses. In some circumstances, you may also be able to sign in front of a notary if you cannot find two witnesses, but the notary may not be … [Read more...] about OOH-DNR Orders in Texas: Part 3 of 3
In the last blog, we discussed why you would want to draft an OOH-DNR or Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate Order as part of your estate planning documents. Now, we will cover what is necessary to create a valid order. First, you must be at least 18 years old to create a valid OOH-DNR Order and be mentally competent, which requires you to be of sound mind when signing and creating the document. At the very least, you should be able to understand that what you are signing and its implications. … [Read more...] about OOH-DNR Orders in Texas: Part 2 of 3
Also known as “Do Not Resuscitate” Orders, DNRs allow you to order doctors or other hospital personnel to withhold treatment in certain situations. Talk to our office about making a DNR Order a part of your estate planning documents. Texas recognizes In-Hospital DNRs and Out-of-Hospital DNRs. Although similar, Out-of-Hospital DNR Orders direct nonhospital staff, including emergency medical personnel. Typically, emergency medical personnel refer to paramedics and hospital emergency room … [Read more...] about OOH-DNR Orders in Texas: Part 1 of 3
It seems like almost every year there is news that Social Security is going to run out of money. Most people have become immune to the stories and no longer pay attention. However, parents of children with special needs, need to pay attention this time. The Washington Post, hardly an alarmist newspaper, has reported that the Social Security Disability Trust fund will run out of cash in 2016. You need to make an estate plan for your children now. Special needs children require lifetime care and … [Read more...] about Don’t Count on Social Security Disability
Are you the parent of a special needs child or the caregiver of a family member with special needs? Are you concerned about their future should something happen to you leaving you incapacitated, or ever what might happen following your passing? These are not uncommon concerns, even for those who are not parents. Even if you are a loved one with a family member who has special needs, these concerns are ever-present. What is going to happen? What can we do to prepare? Special needs planning is a … [Read more...] about What is Special Needs Planning?
There are a large number of estate planning tools your estate planning lawyer is experienced with, and understands that you are not. Because there are so many options to explore and tools to put into place, it will be necessary to meet with your estate planning lawyer regularly until everything is complete. Even then, meetings will follow regularly in order to keep all the documents up to date. Often times, people believe they only have to worry about their estate plan during the planning … [Read more...] about Put the Proper Estate Plan Tools Into Place
If you are the parent of a disabled child, or if you help support a loved one with special needs, a special needs trust can be an effective – even essential – tool. Special needs trusts help to ensure that your loved one’s Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income won’t be jeopardized by an inheritance or, in the case of a disability caused by someone else’s actions – by a personal injury settlement. Strict Rules In order for a special needs trust to protect a disabled person’s benefits, the … [Read more...] about Why You Might Want to Consider a Pooled Special Needs Trust
Think about all the details you know about your child and his or her life. As the parent of a child with special needs, there are some things that only you know. And, if you weren’t there, that information would be lost. What impact would that have on your child’s life? A care plan can ensure that all the important information about your child, down to the smallest detail, is communicated to his or her guardian or trustee. Often done in the form of a Letter of Intent, a care plan is simply a … [Read more...] about Establishing a Care Plan for Your Special Needs Child