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Kennedy

Special Needs Requires Special Estate Planning

By Carrie A.S. Kennedy, Esquire

When your loved one, for example a child or grandchild, has special needs and receives government funding, it is especially important to create an estate plan that doesn’t jeopardize that person’s receipt of governmental benefits (such as Supplemental Social Security Income and Medicaid). Your Will should be carefully drafted to prevent that person from inheriting assets directly.  Additionally, a carefully drafted Third Party Special Needs Trust can allow for the use of funds as provided in the trust for the benefit of your loved one while preserving much needed governmental benefits.  This type of trust gives the grantor (creator of the trust) the ability to direct the ultimate beneficiaries of any funds remaining upon the passing to the special needs person.  The trust can be funded through inheritance as directed in a Will, by beneficiary designation on an account or policy or by direct gift to the Trust from a third party.  It may not be funded with the special needs person’s own funds.

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Guardians, Parents and COVID-19 Vaccination

Carrie A.S. Kennedy of Connor, Weber & Oberlies recently argued successfully in the area of guardianship and COVID-19 Vaccination, as the Chester County Judge concluded that he agreed with the opinion of an expert witness in the case, “The science is clear … ‘this is not a difficult call. Vaccination against COVID-19 saves lives.’”

This legal case involved a disagreement between a mother and father over the vaccination of their adult daughter, with Down syndrome, who lives in a local group home. Her parents are long-divorced and are court appointed as co-guardians of their daughter. After making no progress in resolving the issue, the father petitioned for vaccination of his daughter.

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