When does a California family need a special needs trust?

The types of tools you should use as part of your estate plan depends on the needs and objectives of your individual family. Every estate plan is different, and you can take steps to ensure that your plan meets your needs and helps you take care of your loved ones after you are gone.

If your California family cares for a special needs person, you can create a special needs trust to ensure that this person has the care he or she needs long into the future. This specific type of trust can protect assets and money you set aside for a person who lacks the capacity for self-care or money management. You may find it beneficial to explore the benefits of adding a trust as part of your complete estate plan.

Is a trust really necessary?

Some people make the mistake of assuming that they do not need a trust, opting instead to leave money for the care of a special needs loved one through a will. This may seem reasonable, but in reality, that is not wise. This can lead to unexpected tax burdens and complications that may ultimately harm your loved one.

There are certain benefits to putting assets into a trust if you wish to leave money specifically for the care of a special needs individual. There are many reasons why you may consider this option, including the following:

  • The assets and money left in a special needs trust will not affect a person’s eligibility for government medical or housing benefits.
  • You can name a person to act as the trust administrator. This person would ensure the appropriate use of the money.
  • The money held in the trust is not subject to lawsuits and judgments.

The wording of your special needs trust is important. As you consider your need for this specific estate planning tool or drafting your trust, you may find it beneficial to seek knowledgeable guidance.

Protecting your loved ones

Through your estate plan, you can ensure the protection of your loved ones and beneficiaries for years to come. If you need to add a special needs trust to your existing estate plan, you have no time to lose in getting updated plans in place.

A complete evaluation of your case can help you understand your estate planning options and how you should proceed to protect every member of your family through a strong and thoughtful estate plan.