All children deserve the thought and foresight that goes into estate planning, but estate planning for a special needs child takes on a special kind of significance. Whether you have a child with a physical, medical, or intellectual disability, planning for their future is a priority. Pay attention to these three tips for estate planning when your beneficiaries have special needs.
Tip #1: Understand the Impact of Money and Assets
Many individuals with special needs take advantage of government programs that aid in their support and care, including medical care. Leaving an inheritance, assets, or financial benefits to your child could leave them ineligible for the government assistance they need. Without thoughtful estate planning, your child could find themselves running through their inheritance quickly due to the cost of their care and loss of the government assistance they need.
Tip #2: Think About a Special Needs Trust
There are different trust structures for different circumstances, and when you have a special needs child, a special needs trust is worth considering. The primary benefit of this type of protection is that the trust and the assets within aren’t factors when qualifying for public assistance. The assets and financial support from the trust can cover needs not met by that assistance.
Tip #3: Consult an Estate Planning Lawyer
There are many legal considerations and ramifications of inheritance and trusts, so it’s critical to set them up correctly. This is especially true when your beneficiary is a child with special needs. Consulting an attorney with experience with estate planning is the best way to ensure your plans will work in your child’s best interest.
Estate planning for a special needs child requires care, consideration, and a legal team on your side. Contact McCutchen McLean, LLC to schedule your consultation.
There are many reasons to change your name. The process in each state can vary, but a name change in SC is relatively straightforward. Here’s what you need to know so you can get it done.
You need to petition the family court to legally change your name in any state, including South Carolina. Whether you’re changing your last name due to marriage, divorce, or other life circumstance, or changing your first name, there is a process that you must follow. According to the South Carolina Legislature, the process includes the following:
- Petition the court in writing and include the reason for the change.
- Complete fingerprinting and a criminal background check.
- Provide a statement from the Department of Social Services to prove you are not on the child abuse and neglect registry.
- Proof from State Law Enforcement that you are not on the sex offender registry.
- Provide information and documentation on court orders, including child support or alimony.
There are additional steps and considerations depending on the petitioner’s age, whether there is a criminal background, and sometimes the reason for the name change.
Why You Should Consider Hiring an Attorney
The documentation required, and elements that must be pled in your petition, are governed by South Carolina statute. Some steps in the name change process are easy to complete on your own, but others can be more complicated. Anytime you deal with the court system, issues and questions can be challenging to manage. This is especially true when you need consent from another parent for a child’s name change, when there may be a criminal history or prior court orders, or if someone contests the name change. Additionally, the documentation required can be overwhelming to assemble. An attorney can help you navigate all these areas, simplify the process for you, and help you reach your goal of attaining your brand new (or former) name.
Contact the experienced family law team at McCutchen McLean, LLC today for a free consultation regarding how to change your name in South Carolina.