Guardianship and special needs law encompasses a range of issues associated with caring for and meeting the needs of individuals who are either unable, or only partially able, to care for themselves. Examples of these situations range from a developmentally disabled child or a senior with some form of dementia, to the victim of a car accident in a long-term coma who has failed to create any type of power of attorney. Our firm is experienced in and able to assist you with the development of a comprehensive legal plan for any such situation.
A Guardianship, also known as a conservatorship, is where one person, the guardian, is appointed by the Courts to make medical and/or financial decisions for another person. A person may need a guardian if that person is no longer able to care for themselves due to a stroke, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other serious medical condition. Unless a guardian is appointed for a developmentally disabled person who is older than 18 years of age, the law will presume that person is capable of making all decisions for himself or herself.
Special Needs Law
The category of special needs law specifically addresses the needs of an adult or child who is disabled, due to either a physical or mental disability, or a chronic illness. A Special Needs Trust, also known as a Supplemental Needs Trust, is an irrevocable trust created according to federal law for the benefit of individuals who are disabled under Social Security standards and who are under age 65. Our attorneys are well-versed in this area of the law and can assist clients with a trust in order to qualify for available government programs and benefits.
Specific services include the following:
- Guardianships and Conservatorships
- Special Needs Trusts and Wills
- Counsel regarding Medicaid, disability, and social security
- Legal assistance for individuals with disabilities
- Estate planning
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Financial Durable Power of Attorney
- Preparation of Advanced Medical Directives
- Evaluation of benefits plans including long-term care insurance
- Trust and estate administration
Guardianship & Special Needs Law Team:
Guardianship & Special Needs Law Resources:
- AARP – Advance Directives: Creating a Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney
- AARP – Caregiving Resource Center
- National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization – North Carolina Advance Directive: Planning for Important Health Care Decisions
- North Carolina Guardianship Association
- North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services – Guardianship Services