Redding, California, Law Blog

Special needs trusts are a useful estate planning tool

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2019 | Firm News, trusts

Many people in Redding and other parts of Northern California probably have someone in their family with special needs due to some sort of disability, illness or injury. These special needs can include the need for medical care and other treatments. In some cases, the person with special needs may require assistance going through daily life. Sometimes, they may even need to live in a place where they can receive full-time professional care.

For a lot of reasons, California families engaging in estate planning will want to consider their loved ones who have special needs. Doing so is often simply an extension of a person’s generosity to all of their family members. Moreover, people with special needs often struggle to pay for the care they need, so any assistance is helpful.

Special needs trusts are one way family members can assist those with special needs. Like other trusts, one benefit is that an independent person, or institution, will control the money in the trust. The trustee will have the responsibility to look after the money, invest it properly, and use it to pay the expenses of the person with special needs. This is often necessary as a person with special needs may not have the ability to manage their own wealth.

When a loved one qualifies for government benefits of various sorts, a special needs trust can also help protect their benefits. Many government benefits are contingent on a person meeting certain income and asset requirements. Special needs trusts are one way to navigate through these requirements while still giving some monetary support to a loved one.

Whether a special needs trust is a viable option in a California family’s particular situation depends a lot on the circumstances. It should be an option discussed with one’s estate planning attorney.