Although most of us do not know when a serious disability will occur, we know that almost everyone will experience some form of disability at some time, such as from an automobile accident, or a fall or an illness. If the disability results in mental or physical incapacity, you will not be able to manage your own affairs. Ina Kay Zimmerman is well-versed in the issues facing families which include a person with disabilities.
Power of Attorney – Who do you want to make decisions regarding your health and business affairs? Of course, you want to be the one to decide who has this power and what they may and may not do. A power of attorney may be the answer, even for a person with disabilities. If there is no power of attorney, the decision may have to be made by a court, and the judge may appoint someone who is not the one who suits the one who needs help. Even a person with a mental disability may be able to choose an agent under power of attorney to allow another person to act, under certain circumstances.
Social Security – Income is available for some people who have become disabled, in some caes even if that person has never worked for wages. There are many conditions for eligibility, but this income can be well worth pursuing, and Medicare health coverage can be part of the benefits even when the eligible person has not yet reached age 65. Often it takes more than filing an application to achieve eligibility for Social Security Disability. An elder law attorney can be a source of assistance in this endeavor.
Estate planning in a family where there is a person with disabilities can be tricky. Special needs can be addressed by the creation of a supplemental needs trust, which can avoid the beneficiary becoming ineligible for publicly-funded programs.