When can special needs trusts be established in California?

For California parents and relatives who care for a loved one with special needs, it is important to think about the future. The proper care must be provided for their lifetime and it is no guarantee that the current caregiver can continue that indefinitely. This is especially worrisome with children, but it can impact anyone. A special needs trust can account for the various issues that might arise. With the special needs trust, a person who is getting government benefits because of their disability can use the trust without it preventing them from getting those benefits based on income or assets. Still, when establishing and continuing a special needs trust, there are laws that must be adhered to.

There are fundamental criteria for establishing and continuing a special needs trust

Under California law, there are basics that the court must see before it will establish and continue the special needs trust. For those who are disabled and that disability is severe enough that it hinders their ability to care for themselves and live independently, then there can be a special needs trust. The disability itself must be of sufficient seriousness that their needs will not be met if the trust is not established. The money that is being paid to the trust cannot go beyond that which is reasonably required for those special needs to be met.

Special needs trusts apply to children and adults

Disabilities can come about for many reasons whether it is from birth, due to an accident or because of a condition that grew progressively worse. There are government programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that will provide for disabled individuals who are limited in their means, but these benefits are frequently limited in what they provide and family members want their loved one to have more than they would get under this program. That is where a special needs trust comes in. If the disabled person is set to receive an inheritance, a special needs trust can protect their finances while still according them benefits like SSI and from other agencies.

Having assistance can be useful with special needs trusts

A special needs trust is beneficial in many situations, but there could be other estate planning avenues to consider that might be preferable. Regardless, it is wise to know how to protect loved ones with a comprehensive estate plan. Consulting with those experienced in these challenges can provide information and guidance to be fully protected and, more importantly, to help a loved one who needs a certain level of care to be comfortable.