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Understanding special needs trusts

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Estate Administration & Probate

Parents or other relatives of children with special needs in California often worry about what will happen to them when they die. Who will take care of them? How will they be able to afford the necessary care? If you are such a person, you should consider establishing a special needs trust. Here’s what you need to know about it.

What is a special needs trust?

This is a type of trust specifically designed to provide for the needs of a beneficiary with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. It is meant to supplement Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, and other government benefits they may get without jeopardizing their eligibility.

How does a special needs trust work?

A special needs trust is set up so that the beneficiary does not directly receive the assets in the trust. Instead, the trustee uses the assets in the trust to pay for expenses on behalf of the beneficiary. These expenses can include medical bills, housing expenses, and education costs.

One of the key benefits of special needs planning is that it allows your beneficiary to maintain their eligibility for government benefits. If the beneficiary were to directly receive assets from the trust, they would likely become ineligible for government benefits such as Medicaid and SSI. By using a special needs trust, the beneficiary can continue to receive these vital benefits while also having access to additional resources.

Who can establish a special needs trust?

Anyone who wishes to provide for the future of a loved one with special needs can establish a special needs trust. This can include parents, grandparents, other family members, or even friends. The important thing is that there is someone willing and able to manage the trust and make decisions on behalf of the beneficiary.

If you have a child with special needs, it is important to start thinking about their future now. A special needs trust can be an invaluable tool in ensuring that your child has everything they need for a comfortable life.


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