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Fundraising: Make Sure the Money Goes Where You Want

TraceyWhen medical tragedy strikes, family and friends may rally around an injured person. After an ambulance ride to the hospital, emergency medical intervention, scans and x-rays, family and friends may receive a catastrophic prognosis.  Permanent paralysis from a stroke. Quadriplegia from a brain injury sustained in a motorcycle crash. Whatever it is, the friend you were just laughing with yesterday will remain compromised for life.

Money Matters

You want to help, but the complex web of long term care issues have suddenly become a new normal for a family that is still in shock.  If the injured party was the primary bread winner for a family, fear of how the family will be sustained is a critical concern.

In circumstances like this, the cost of long term care becomes a fearful reminder for the injured party as well as his family.

  • How will a mortgage payment be made?
  • How will health insurance be maintained?
  • How will the injured person cover basic necessities for his or her family?

The Effect of Fundraising

So, someone embarks on fundraising efforts in hopes of helping the family maintain life as it was known, but how these efforts are coordinated, planned, and how funds are received can have huge unintended consequences that are completely unknown to the brave folks who step up to help.

This is uncharted territory for even the most prudent.

These questions are daunting and require the advice of an experienced Connecticut special needs attorney who can guide the family as well as the fund raisers.

Most people will not understand that the injured party will need Medicaid benefits that can pay for long term care.   Furthermore, those who understand Medicaid may still not understand the complexities of special need planning.

For example:

  • If money is raised “for the benefit of the injured party,” did you know that these raised funds may actual jeopardize the injured party’s eligibility for benefits that would cover long term care?
  • And that monies raised may be forced to be included in a spousal assessment where a well spouse may only be able to keep half of the total assets between the husband and the wife?
  • Or these funds may have to be annuitized, or they may need to be placed in a special needs trust for the benefit of the injured party only?

On the other hand, if these funds had been raised for the general use of the family, the funds could be received by the well spouse and used for general purposes: to pay off debts, pre pay mortgage payments or taxes on real estate.  What is critical is how the mortgage will get paid, or how the car taxes will be paid.

Attorneys who practice in special needs planning have in-depth understanding of how to maximize public benefit programs and preserve private assets. They can guide the fund raisers to best accomplish goals of raising general funds for the family.  Benefits can be structured to minimize taxes, protect all funds to maximize resources not only for the injured person but for the family too.

To truly help your loved one with fund raising efforts, be sure to do it right.

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