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Special needs and estate planning

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2022 | Estate Administration & Probate

When you have someone in your family in California who has special needs, you might be concerned about how to provide for their financial future. There are useful estate planning tools that can help.

Financial resources

There are several different kinds of resources that people with special needs can use. The first level is state and federal benefits. These can take a number of different forms– some are direct cash and others have restrictions. The next step is a tax-advantaged savings account called an ABLE account. This is a tool that allows for tax deductions while investing for the future needs of the beneficiary. Next is the possibility of creating a trust that can hold assets for the long term. All of these resources need to be managed carefully because drawing too many assets can endanger government benefits.

Time horizons

Preparing for the lifetime of someone who may not be able to financially provide for themselves takes a long view. Developing a strategy takes time, as does identifying key people like the care team and mentors. Layering the financial resources so that they do not exclude the beneficiary from benefits is a crucial step for preserving the flow of income. Estate planning needs to include structured resources that will provide that flow with the least possible oversight and upkeep required.

When a person needs financial support, their financial needs will depend on long-term planning and knowledge of the various resources available to them. Balancing which assets pay for which expenses will avoid government benefit reduction or other negative outcomes.


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