Special Needs Planning

“We offer a holistic approach for families who have unique responsibilities of caring for a loved one with physical or mental challenges.”

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Special Needs Planning

Let’s talk





Special Needs Planning

At Mall Malisow & Cooney, P.C., we offer a holistic approach to Special Needs Planning for families who have unique responsibilities of caring for a loved one with physical or mental challenges. We seek to assist families in preserving dignity, respect, and individuality for their loved ones while leveraging federal and state laws to protect their assets.

Special Needs Planning often includes the creation of certain types of Trusts to provide for care needs and protect the loved one’s assets. Our Special Needs Planning Attorneys are experienced at helping families walk through the planning process.

Contact Mall Malisow & Cooney to schedule your Special Needs Planning consultation. Our Attorneys can help provide quality care and a secure future for your loved ones with special needs.

Special Needs Trusts
The need often arises to provide funding for care and preserving the quality of life for a loved one with special needs. These are sometimes called Discretionary Trusts or Amenities Trusts. Our experienced Attorneys can assist you with Special Needs Trust Planning.

First Party Special Needs Trust
A Special Needs Trust funded with the disabled person’s own assets (savings, inheritances, or lawsuit) is called a First Party Special Needs Trust. This type of Trust (also called a Medicaid Payback Trust or Interceptor Special Needs Trust) can be used for care and quality of life expenses in addition to government assistance programs such as Medicaid or SSI. The terms of the Trust must be carefully worded to ensure the funds are not applied to needs already met through government assistance. Also, a well-qualified trustee is needed to manage the funds in order to not compromise government benefits.

Third Party Special Needs Trust
A Special Needs Trust established with another family member’s assets for the benefit of a person with special needs is called a Third Party Special Needs Trust. This Trust can be used for other things besides basic needs in addition to Medicaid or SSI benefits. However, unlike the First Party Special Needs Trust above, this Trust is not required to pay back the state for benefits paid to the beneficiary during his or her lifetime. Moreover, a qualified trustee must be used to prevent errors that could cause a loss of Medicaid or SSI benefits.

Other Estate Planning Tools
Other means are available to provide funding for care and quality of life expenses for your loved one with special needs. Speak with one of our Special Needs Attorneys about the following options:

ABLE Accounts
Named for the ABLE Act of 2014, these are savings accounts for disabled individuals and their families that have certain tax advantages. Contributions can be made to the account by anyone using post-taxed money; these funds are not deductible on federal tax returns, although some states may allow deductions. Income earned from these accounts is not taxable.

Pooled Account Trusts
A Pooled Trust is established by a non-profit association for the benefit of a disabled person and his or her family. The non-profit organization pools, manages, and invests the funds and controls disbursements. This type of account is used to cover expenses other than basic needs provided for by government benefits.

Additional Assistance
The Special Needs Attorneys at Mall Malisow & Cooney also offer the following additional services for Special Needs Planning purposes:

  • Placement and Care Issues/Advocacy
  • Government Benefits Advocacy (Medicaid and Community Mental Health)
  • A Durable Power of Attorney
  • A Medical Power of Attorney and Living Will

In addition to maximizing the amount of available resources to the person with disabilities, these planning tools may also reduce or eliminate the need for a court-appointed Guardian or Conservator.

Your Respected Michigan Special Needs Law Firm

The Special Needs Law Firm of Mall Malisow & Cooney is ready to provide our experience and resources to your family and establish the best plan to meet the needs of your loved one with special needs. You can be assured our holistic approach will respect the dignity and individuality of your loved one while providing for the best care possible.