Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and San Diego County Special Needs Trust Attorney
Setting Up Special Needs Trusts for Clients in California
Estate planning involves protecting the interests of your family and loved ones and considering how they will continue to be supported should something happen to you. This is especially important if you have children or other beneficiaries with special needs. These individuals might not be able to work to support themselves, so ensuring they have the financial resources they need into the future is essential.
At the Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai, we handle estate planning for people in a wide variety of circumstances, including those who have loved ones with special needs who they want to support. If you would like to learn more, you should speak with our special needs trust lawyer in Santa Ana.
Overview of Special Needs Trusts
Generally speaking, your estate plan should pass your assets and property to your beneficiaries after your death. However, it might not be beneficial for people with special needs to receive a windfall. This is because many people with disabilities rely on disability benefits if they cannot work. There are strict income and asset thresholds for people to qualify for benefits and receiving an inheritance all at once can disqualify them from benefits. One solution is to create a special needs trust.
A special needs trust allows your beneficiary to benefit from your estate assets while remaining eligible for disability benefits and Medi-Cal. Your beneficiary can receive funds as needed for qualified expenses without those funds being counted for benefit eligibility. Some things that distributions from a special needs trust can cover include:
- Medical and dental bills not covered by other sources
- Motorized wheelchairs, vehicle adaptions, and other special equipment that makes their lives easier
- Education and training
- Travel costs, including the costs of a travel companion
- Entertainment and recreation
- Rehabilitation or therapy
- Appliances, computers, and other electronics
- Guardianship or legal expenses
- Insurance payments
- Transportation costs, including passes or rideshare costs
A special needs trust should not provide cash payments or cover basic food and housing costs. However, the funds can be used to improve your beneficiary’s quality of life.
Special Needs Trustees
As part of the trust creation process, you will need to select someone to serve as the trustee for the special needs trust. Trustees owe a fiduciary duty to the beneficiary, and they are responsible for the following and more:
- Investing trust assets
- Accounting of the trust
- Tax filings for the trust
- Communicating with the beneficiary
- Distribute assets to the beneficiary as appropriate
- Understand the needs of the beneficiary that can be covered
- Ensuring that the beneficiary remains eligible for benefits
- Communicate with healthcare providers and others providing services to the beneficiary
Speak with a Special Needs Trust Lawyer in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County or San Diego County Today
The Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai helps with estate planning for all types of situations, including creating special needs trusts that protect your loved ones. Call 714-694-1200 or contact us online to speak with a California estate planning attorney.