Special Needs Trusts Attorneys in Granite Bay, California
Protecting Public Benefits Through Special Needs Trusts
Without experienced legal counsel, the process of creating an estate plan can feel overwhelming – even more so for those who have concerns regarding the impacts that their will or trust may have on a child’s eligibility for public assistance benefits.
If you have a child who is physically or mentally impaired and who therefore cannot earn an income to be self-sufficient, he or she may become eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medi-Cal, and other support programs when you pass away and are no longer there to provide care and support.
However, because these are means-tested programs, if you leave your child more than a certain amount in a will or in benefits through a trust, you may inadvertently disqualify him or her from being able to receive these public benefits.
Unless you have a substantial estate and will be leaving your child enough to live comfortably while also paying for any necessary medical treatment, this could place your child in a difficult situation. In some circumstances, even a relatively small inheritance could bar your child from being able to receive benefits.
Protect Your Children with A Special Needs Trust
At Herrig, Vogt & Hensley, LLP, we have 30 years of experience in the field of estate planning and have extensive knowledge and understanding of the provisions of the California Probate Code. When we take on a case involving the issues arising from the complications between inheritances and public assistance programs, we often advise the creation of a special needs trust.
Simply put, a special needs trust is a unique trust that meets particular legal requirements so that your child can receive an inheritance while still preserving his or her eligibility for means-tested public benefits programs. By establishing a special needs trust, you can ensure that your child will enjoy a comfortable quality of life while also being able to receive the public benefits necessary to pay for basic living expenses and medical care.
Creating a special needs trust can be a daunting task, especially considering that it needs to be established in such a way as to ensure its success throughout the years following your passing. This is not a task for a person with no legal background to handle. Consequently, a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer from our firm can work closely with you to draft the necessary documents tailored to fit your unique circumstances, ensuring that all necessary provisions are included in the trust so that your child can maintain eligibility for public benefits.
Along with establishing the trust, it is also important to choose the right person to act as the trustee after your passing. Your selected trustee should be someone you can rely on to properly tend to the financial aspects of the trust and who will avoid any errors that could possibly disqualify your child from receiving benefits or misappropriate funds from the trust.
Compassionate and Dedicated Estate Planning Lawyers
In addition to drafting the documents for special needs trusts, we also provide knowledgeable legal counsel to individuals who have been appointed as trustees to administer special needs trusts. If you are a trustee, we can guide you in carrying out your duties and help you avoid errors that could lead to allegations of breach of fiduciary duty or the disqualification of benefits. We serve clients in Placer County, Sacramento County, and El Dorado County, and we offer free case evaluations so that you can learn how we can help.