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Legal Solutions for People with Disabilities and Their Families
We work with clients who are receiving disability or Medicaid benefits and need help on a legal issue related to their benefits. This includes cases where a benefit is incorrectly terminated, or where a person with disabilities receives an inheritance or personal injury settlement and needs to take steps to make sure not to lose benefits.
We also represent individuals in Family Care applications and disputes. We have successfully represented clients whose care and services were reduced by the Family Care agency, and have obtained decisions restoring the services. We have also successfully defended against inappropriate evictions from nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Estate Planning for Family Members with Disabilities
Additionally, we work with families of individuals having disabilities who want to make the right estate plans that will not harm the individual's ability to get needed benefits. This may mean creating a special needs trust or ABLE account, nominating guardians, and discussing ways to make sure parents can arrange for the long-term success of the individual with disabilities.
Estate Planning for Individuals with Disabilities
When possible, we help people with cognitive diversity such as Down Syndrome, autism, Aspergers' or developmental differences to do their own estate planning such as powers of attorney, wills, and self-directed supports. We meet individually with each person to make sure it is appropriate to do estate planning given the person's abilities and understanding. Supported decision-making is a process that can aid with maintaining one's independence. It can be used in conjunction with powers of attorney or with a guardianship. Legally, guardianship is a last resort when these other options are not available.
Guardianship and Supported-Decision-Making Agreements
Having a disability does not automatically mean a guardianship is required. However, when someone does not have sufficient capacity to sign powers of attorney, or in cases where powers of attorney have been misused, we do assist with the guardianship process. We explain the process, and guide clients through the required court proceedings.