As many California residents may be aware, a child with special needs can generate many expenses. While parents can meet those costs while they are alive, their main concern is most likely going to be regarding the special needs child's care after they pass away. At the same time, they have to ensure that the inheritance left to the physically or mentally disabled child does not affect their eligibility to receive public assistance, disability benefits, such as Social Security Income or Medicare or Medicaid.
One of the estate planning tools that could be used in such circumstances is a special needs trust. Money put in this trust does not count towards qualifications for public assistance. In fact, it can be used for other costs, such as medical charges, transportation expenses and other associated costs.
The party creating the will is supposed to designate a trustee who will control the trust. The trustee is supposed to manage and disburse the funds as a fiduciary and can be held accountable for any negligence on their part. The biggest benefit of a special needs trust is that the person creating it can be assured it will go to the deserving individual to be used for the expenses stipulated by them. Additionally, they are revocable and cannot be seized by creditors or lawsuits.
It is important to ensure that the language and intention of the trust is clear so that it is valid. Additionally, parents also want to consider their options for protecting the future of other children and there may be ways to do that as well. Trust and probate litigation experts might be able to provide guidance on how to provide for the future of one's children. This can help ensure you are aware of your rights and options when it comes to setting up a trust.