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Should a special needs trust be a part of your estate plan?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | ESTATE PLANNING - Estate Administration & Probate

Planning for the future can be a difficult process as it requires you to consider what will happen to your property after you pass. Considering your own mortality can be difficult, but it is a critical step for every California adult. It is especially important if you are the parent of a special needs child or care for a family member who cannot care for himself or herself. There are specific estate planning tools available to you that allow you to care for your loved ones long after you pass. 

A special needs trust is a tool that provides you with the chance to set aside and protect assets for a specific use, including the care of a child who will not be able to support himself or herself. Through proper estate planning, you will be able to look to the future with confidence, knowing that the interests of your loved one are secure. If you have an existing estate plan, creating this type of trust may be a prudent addition.

The benefits of a special needs trust 

As a parent, it may seem logical to simply pass along money and assets to your kids through your will. However, this is not always the most prudent choice when passing along assets for the care of a special needs individual. By placing these funds in a specific type of trust, you can ensure their use as directed. Some of the benefits of a special needs trust include: 

  • The funds placed in a special needs trust do not affect one’s eligibility for government benefits and different types of public assistance. 
  • You will be able to provide for specific needs of your loved one not covered by government benefits, including education, housing, clothing, daily needs and more. 
  • You can appoint someone as the trustee to oversee the distribution of assets from the account to ensure your loved one gets the maximum benefit from them. 

A special needs trust is specifically designed for the benefit of a special needs individual, allowing you to care for and protect your loved one even long after you are gone. The future is unpredictable, and having these plans in place now will provide protection against a contingency that may arise in the future. If you are the parent of a child with disabilities or you are the primary caregiver for a loved one, you may benefit from learning more about how this trust could benefit your family.