Estate planning in California can be complex and tricky in the best of situations but it takes on added gravity when a child with special needs is involved. A couple of different variables come into play when one is protecting assets in the interest of long-term care for a special needs child. There are options that can simplify the situation.
Planning for the future of a special needs child may find parents wishing they could have the gift of seeing what the future holds, even if only briefly. Not knowing what the future holds and not being fully able to predict a child's needs can make financial planning for the future a challenge. It becomes necessary to put together an estate plan with as much built-in flexibility as possible.
Establishing a trust can provide flexibility in a number of ways. A living trust allows the parent to continue to control the assets during one's lifetime. It can be administered by a trustee upon one's death who can see that the needs of the child are met and the value of the assets continues to be protected. If one anticipates that the disabled person will receive government benefits to cover many of his or her needs, a special needs trust can be established to provide for other things such as entertainment and other miscellaneous expenses.
Estate planning for an extra needs child may take a little extra effort in California. The possible future requirements of care for the child must be balanced with protecting assets to try to ensure that they will outlast their need. A lawyer experienced in estate planning can help one review the situation and help craft a plan that can meet the family's needs.