When it comes to planning for the future of individuals with special needs, there aren’t many resources. However, through her business, Weeks Law Firm, and her non-profit organization, Texas GPS, Plano attorney Tresi Weeks is changing that.
Tresi, who serves on Plano-based non-profit My Possibilities’ advisory council, first became aware of special needs planning 12 years ago when she was serving as a trustee for a trust in which the beneficiary received Medicaid.
When it came time to make a distribution from the trust, Tresi knew, if not done properly, it could adversely affect the individual’s Medicaid eligibility.
Although she searched for “how to” answers among fellow attorneys and other resources, she came up empty handed. It turned out that no one knew much about estate planning and the special needs community.
“There are very few attorneys that practice this area of the law, because it is complex,” Tresi said. “We are dealing with federal and state regulations, and most of it is not written down. I spent quite a bit a time doing research.”
According to Tresi, many people with disabilities need government benefits such as Social Security Income and Medicaid. To qualify for these government programs, individuals cannot have a lot of assets.
Ideally, parents want to be able to leave their estate to their special needs child in a way that allows the child to receive government benefits in addition to these assets.
Weeks Law Firm specializes in estate planning, special needs planning, special needs trusts and guardianship. “We want to help families who are lost and not sure of how to navigate the special needs world,” Tresi said. “We are trying to create the best future life possible for a special needs child. My goal is to give the parents peace of mind by having a plan in place so they do not have to worry.”
It was also a decade ago that Tresi, in trying to make sure her daughter received all of the services she needed, got to know parents of children with special needs. It was then that she first learned about My Possibilities.
“I just fell in love with their program,” she said. “I love what they are doing, because they are not just warehousing adults with disabilities. They are educating them and giving them opportunities to do all kinds of really neat things.”
Tresi currently serves on its advisory counsel, but said she “will really do anything I can to help” the non-profit.
“Tresi has been a longtime supporter of My Possibilities, or as we like to say ‘HIPster Hero,’” said My Possibilities Executive Director Michael Thomas. “We’re grateful our families are able to work with someone as kind and knowledgeable as Tresi to assist in planning their HIPster’s future.”
Tresi refers to Texas GPS as her ministry. Through community workshops and speaking engagements, the organization educates parents, caregivers and individuals with special needs about applying for government benefits, estate planning and special needs trusts.
In addition to Texas GPS, Tresi serves as chairman of the board of directors for the non-profit organization Disability Rights Texas, a statewide advocacy and protection agency for people with disabilities. She is also on the board of directors for Coventry Reserve, a day programs for adults with disabilities located in Wylie.
“Tresi Weeks is someone who truly listens and hears people when they speak,” Michael said. “The IDD community is fortunate to have someone as compassionate and genuine as Tresi working hard to make a difference.”My Possibilities > Weeks Law Firm >
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