Sound and timely planning: critical for special needs trusts

Many people reasonably engage in purposeful planning even regarding relatively simply and commonplace tasks. They do a mental inventory before going to the grocery store. They compile chore- and work-related “to-do” lists that serve as essential reminders for things that need to get done. They budget for vacations. They carefully assess considerations surrounding purchase decisions.

If that degree of strategic thought and care is typically exercised prior to a trip to, say, Walgreens, how much more important is it to employ a materially heightened diligence to the truly important things in life?

Like planning for loved ones, for example?

Today’s blog post casts a spotlight on special needs planning, a critically important realm of estate administration for many families in California and across the country.

Special needs considerations come with a built-in preface posed as a question, namely this: How can planners — a mother and father, for example — best ensure that a child with special needs can take full advantage of means-tested government assistance programs, while simultaneously having funds available to help supplement those government-provided services?

In other words, how can eligibility for various forms of assistance — SSI and Medi-Cal, for instance — be protected both now and in the future, while some family-provided money exists that can be applied on behalf of a loved one with special needs?

As we note on a relevant page of our estate planning website at the Orange County Newman Law Group, special needs considerations relating to eligibility and financial resources comprise a “complicated area of the law.”

And that is an understatement.

Notwithstanding such complexities, though, families are able to routinely implement sound special needs plans with close assistance from an attorney who regularly practices in this singular realm of law.

Our attorneys justifiably take great pride in helping clients promote critically important family-related goals. We welcome readers’ questions and the opportunity to provide studied guidance regarding special needs planning and other important estate administration concerns.

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