A special needs trust is created to ensure that beneficiaries who are disabled or mentally ill can enjoy the use of property that is intended to be held for their benefit. In addition to personal planning reasons for such a trust (the person may lack the mental capacity to handle his or her financial affairs) there may be fiscal advantages to the use of a trust. Such trusts may also avoid beneficiaries losing access to essential government benefits.
To discuss how a special needs trust can supplement the living needs of a disabled loved one, contact a San Francisco attorney at The Evans Law Firm at 415-441-8669 or 888-50-EVANS or email@example.com to schedule a free initial consultation.
Oakland Attorneys, Assisting With Disability Planning
Third-party special needs trusts can own various assets that are used by a child or disabled person, but due to the ownership by the trust, the assets are not counted as being owned by the child.
The trust could also pay for services required by the beneficiary, such as telephone, education, car repairs, etc., without affecting the beneficiary’s eligibility for the government programs. The trustee, however, would not make cash payments to the child because the payments would be counted as income for the beneficiary and could result in reduction or loss of benefits. The trust could also own a home for the child, thereby reducing the child’s expenses for rent, although there may be some reduction in SSI benefits as a result.
Problems With Special Needs Trusts
When the parents’ estate plan becomes irrevocable, usually through the deaths of the parents, the special needs trust also becomes irrevocable. If the beneficiary regains mental or physical capacity after that point, making changes to the trust or revoking it can be difficult, and will require court approval. Unless the beneficiary is severely disabled and has no hope of financial survival without the government programs, a special needs trust may not be the answer.
Trust Attorneys Serving Sacramento and Other Communities Throughout California
Please call 415-441-8669 or contact our lawyers online via e-mail to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss disability planning. We serve clients in Oakland and in communities throughout the Bay Area and Southern California.