The Importance of Special Needs Estate Planning in Louisiana

April 25, 2023

a little girl kissing her mom on the cheek

Life is full of uncertainties, and when a loved one has a disability, planning for the future becomes even more crucial. A well-designed estate plan for people with special needs can provide peace of mind for families and individuals, ensuring they are well cared for throughout their lives.

At Dowden & Smith, we understand the importance of special needs estate planning for the well-being of those with disabilities. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with our estate planning attorneys.

Understanding Special Needs Trusts in Louisiana

One essential aspect of special needs estate planning is understanding Special Needs Trusts (SNT). These trusts are legal arrangements designed to hold and manage assets for the benefit of an individual with a disability. The primary goal of an SNT is to preserve the beneficiary’s eligibility for government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.

There are two main types of Special Needs Trusts:

  • First-Party Special Needs Trusts: Created by the individual with the disability using their own assets, first-party SNTs are funded with assets belonging to the beneficiary.
  • Third-Party Special Needs Trusts: Set up by someone other than the individual with the disability, often by a family member, third-party SNTs are funded with assets that never belonged to the beneficiary.

[Related: Why You Need a Succession Attorney]

Choosing a Trustee for a Special Needs Trust in Louisianaa man with a walker in a house going to discuss special needs estate planning with an attorney

Selecting the right trustee for a Special Needs Trust is a critical decision. The trustee is responsible for managing the trust assets and making distributions on behalf of the beneficiary. When choosing a trustee, consider their knowledge of government benefits, financial management skills, and relationship with the beneficiary. It’s important to pick a trustee that you trust will make decisions that are in the beneficiary’s best interests.

As experienced and compassionate estate planning attorneys in Louisiana, Dowden & Smith are here to help you with qualified legal advice. Our team will sit down with you and craft a special needs estate plan to protect your and your family’s wishes. Call our office today at 337-238-2800 to schedule a consultation.

Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Alternatives in Louisiana

The legal process for establishing guardianship or conservatorship is called interdiction in Louisiana. This process allows for a court-appointed individual to make decisions for the disabled beneficiary.

More limited alternatives can also be considered to grant specific decision-making authority or allow the individual with a disability to make their own decisions with assistance from a support network.

Deciding what path is best for your family member can be difficult. At Dowden & Smith, we strive to take a compassionate approach and individually tailor legal solutions to better suit your family’s needs. Contact our office today to discuss your needs and receive qualified, experienced help.

A special needs trust document Essential Documents and Steps for Special Needs Estate Planning in Louisiana

Preparing for the future involves having essential documents and taking crucial steps.

Healthcare directives and powers of attorney are often essential steps for ensuring that an individual’s medical and financial wishes are respected. By taking this step, you are one step closer to safeguarding your family’s future and ensuring your family’s wishes are followed.

Another step needed is to review your estate plan regularly. Regularly reviewing and updating your special needs plan is vital to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of your loved one with a disability.

[Related: Advance Directives in Louisiana]

The Value of Special Needs Estate Planning in Louisiana

A comprehensive special needs estate plan can provide peace of mind and security for both individuals with disabilities and their families. Special needs estate planning in Louisiana is essential for safeguarding the financial and personal well-being of your loved one with a disability.

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as those at Dowden & Smith, can help you navigate the complexities of special needs planning and ensure that your loved one’s future is secure. When you hire Dowden & Smith, we’ll sit down and discuss your options with you, so that your special needs estate plan fits your unique situation. Contact our office today.



The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice. The information contained on this site is for general information only and should not be applied to any specific situation. Any use of the site does not create or constitute a client-lawyer relationship between Dowden & Smith and the user of the site. If you require legal advice, consult with an experienced attorney.

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