Chula Vista Special Needs Planning Attorneys
Helping Families Prepare for the Future
If your loved one lives with a physical or mental disability, you may be worried about what will happen when you are no longer around to care for them. Individuals with special needs already face an unprecedented number of challenges throughout their life, and it is completely understandable that you will want to do everything possible to protect them.
Our Chula Vista special needs planning lawyers at The Sexton Law Firm can help you explore effective and innovative legal estate planning solutions that can benefit your loved ones. Estate planning involving those with special needs requires careful strategy and a full knowledge of relevant state and federal laws, especially if the individual in question benefits from Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid. We can help you build a plan that honors your wishes and cares for your loved one without unintentionally endangering their eligibility for critical government support.
Why Special Needs Trusts Are Necessary
Well-meaning families can sometimes get into trouble when they engage in estate planning without understanding the implications and potential consequences of their decisions. Many parents may designate their loved ones with special needs as beneficiaries in a will or trust. Doing so can result in the individual receiving an inheritance that exceeds eligibility thresholds for Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and/or Social Security.
In other words, failing to take specific steps to protect persons with special needs when estate planning can result in their losing crucial access to government benefits. No one intends to jeopardize these benefits, but a lack of understanding of the complex laws and requirements surrounding these programs can result in mistakes with devastating outcomes.
Your loved one with special needs likely needs benefits from the aforementioned programs in order to survive. Qualifying for these benefits means abiding by strict income and asset limits. This may seem contradictory, as one can generally not survive solely on a combination of public disability benefits and the relatively paltry amount of assets a qualifying person is permitted to own.
A solution can be found in a special needs trust. These trusts are designed to protect the eligibility of those needing to qualify for public disability programs. This arrangement allows you to provide financial security and property to your loved one with special needs without endangering their eligibility for disability benefits.
Funds placed in a special needs trust can be safely used for a variety of expenses specific to your loved one, including:
- Medical care and associated expenses
- Dental care and associated expenses
- In-home or long-term care, including caretakers
- Physical rehabilitation programs
In setting up a special needs trust, you can designate what its contents should be used for and appoint a trustee to manage the disbursement and general maintenance of the involved assets. Property placed in a special needs trust typically does not count against ownership or income thresholds for public disability programs.
Special needs trusts are generally irrevocable, meaning that they cannot dismantled or changed after you are gone. The contents of the trust are also protected and cannot be seized as a result of any legal action.
Let Us Help You Explore Special Needs Trusts
A special needs trust allows individuals with disabilities to continue collecting pivotal government benefits while also receiving the funds and assets they need to live a full and sustainable life. Our Chula Vista special needs planning attorneys at The Sexton Law Firm can work with you to establish an effective special needs trusts that gives you peace of mind while protecting your loved one’s interests.
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