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Special estate planning tools for special needs loved ones

You know that every California family could benefit from a strong, thoughtful estate plan. Everyone needs an estate plan, but not every estate plan is the same. In fact, it is possible to draft a plan that uniquely suits the needs of your unique family. If you have a special needs family member who requires care today or who will in the future, you may benefit from adjusting your estate plan to include these considerations.

A special needs trust could be a beneficial way for you ensure the care of your loved one in the future. Even long after you are gone, you can provide continued care, housing and money for other needs for a family member who cannot care for or provide for him or herself.

What is a special needs trust?

A will is not sufficient to provide for a special needs loved one. A trust can protect the money and assets set aside for future needs. The beneficiaries of these types of trusts do not have the mental or physical capacity to care for themselves, and it can be the ideal tool to ensure that your child or other loved one has what he or she needs in the years ahead. The benefits of these types of trusts include the following:

  • The money and assets in a special needs trust will not interfere with a beneficiary's eligibility for government benefits and housing assistance.
  • A special needs trust will last as long as the beneficiary is alive or until the money runs out.
  • You will be able to name a person to act as a trustee for the trust. This can be a family member, trusted loved one or other individual.
  • A special needs trust allows you to outline and address the specific needs of your loved one. This is not possible with other types of trusts or with just a will.

If you believe that you could benefit from this type of trust, you would be wise to take quick action to add the appropriate measures to your existing estate plan to ensure the care of your loved one.

The estate plan that is right for your family

No one knows your family like you to, and it is both appropriate and beneficial for you to have plans in place that allow you address your unique concerns and issues. If you care for a special needs loved one or have a child who will need continued care in the future, it could be prudent to consider the benefits of a special needs trust.

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Melissa A. Proudian, Attorney at Law
1500 W. Shaw Avenue, Suite 403
Fresno, CA 93711

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