Special Needs Trust
A special needs trust can be an excellent way to ensure the financial well-being of a disabled loved one. Not only can such trusts provide for the long-term financial care of a disabled child or adult, but they can also prevent an inheritance or other monetary award from disqualifying a disabled person from receiving government benefits.
Tragically, windfall settlements can be devastating to a disabled beneficiary unless properly structured. A personal injury settlement or inheritance, meant to care for a disabled child or adult, can disqualify them from critical government assistance. Without such assistance, the windfall is quickly exhausted, leaving the person destitute and unable to remain independent.
The Los Angeles trust attorneys at Howard Law have the knowledge and experience to assist in structuring a settlement from a personal injury matter, pending inheritance, or other financial award, in a way that ensures a loved one's financial well-being and qualification for Supplemental Security Income, Medi-Cal and other government programs that base qualification on financial need.
While Social Security and Medicare are based on a person's age and earnings history, other government programs, including food stamps and utility payment assistance, are based on need and a windfall from a settlement or inheritance can have the unintended consequence of disqualifying a recipient from receiving these critical social services.
Additionally, many children and adults suffering from disability are unable to manage money in a way that ensures their future financial well-being. When a care-giver or loved one passes away, or is no longer able to provide care, a Special Needs Trust can be an excellent way to ensure their long-term financial stability.
In cases of an inheritance, the establishment of a Third Party Special Needs Trust is done through a Living Trust or Will. The trust is not controlled by the child or disabled adult, but is controlled by an independent trustee. In cases of a settlement as the result of a personal injury or other lawsuit, a Litigation Special Needs Trust can be used to help secure a loved one's financial well-being while ensuring they remain eligible for critical social service programs.
Because such trusts are not controlled by the beneficiary, they are not considered as part of a beneficiary's assets when calculating financial need. Trust assets can be used to pay for a beneficiary's care, including housing, car expenses, telephone, utilities, food and clothing, without affecting eligibility for government assistance.
Seeking the advice of a qualified Los Angeles trust lawyer is critical in properly establishing and administering a Special Needs Trust. For instance, benefits may not be paid directly to a beneficiary without counting as income. Additionally, Special Needs Trusts can be difficult to dissolve and so many not be the best solution for those suffering from a temporary disability or a disability from which they may recover.
The Los Angeles estate planning lawyers at Howard Law understand the importance of carrying for a loved one with special needs. We believe anyone dealing with the well-being of a special needs family member deserves access to high-quality legal representation. Please call today for a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your case and let us help ensure the financial well-being of a special needs child or adult.
CALIFORNIA SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST - Call (800) 872-5925 - Howard Law