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Special Needs Trusts - Are You Prepared?

A Special Needs Trust is a special trust that holds title to property for the benefit of a child or adult who has a disability without interfering with eligibility for public benefits. The Special Needs Trust can be used to provide for the needs of a person with a disability and supplemental benefits received from various governmental assistance programs, including SSI and Medi-Cal. A trust can hold cash, real property, personal property, and can be the beneficiary of life insurance policies.

If you provide care to a loved one, whether a child or an adult, that has a disability, have you given any thought to who will care for them when you're not there anymore? If you haven't, there's no time like the present.

Who Can Establish a Special Needs Trust?

Parents, or other family members or friends, of a disabled person cn establish a Special Needs Trust as part of their estate plan. When the person with the disability is given a share of an estate, parents, family, and friends can rest assured the beneficiary will have the funds available to provide for them once they, themselves, have passed away.

Who Will Manage the Trust Assets?

The manager of a trust is called a 'trustee'. The trustee can be any person over 18 years old, a family, friend, bank, or a professional fiduciary. The trustee holds, administers, and distributes all property allocated to the trust for the benefit of the disabled person during his or her lifetime.

Though particular relationships, by law, constitute 'fiduciary duty', family members and friends can get emotionally involved and life-long relationships can be at stake. Professional Fiduciaries, by default, have the fiduciary duty to protect the assets of the beneficiary and, to the best of their ability, bring about a satisfactory result while being a good steward of the beneficiary's assets. It is because of this, that they make the best choice.

Firms like AD Fiduciary are very familiar with the laws and regulations of administering Special Needs Trusts. The veteran-owned firm understands caregiving and love of beneficiaries as if they are one of their own.

Knowledgeable and Experience

Almost any estate planning attorney has the ability to create a special needs trust, but ew have a great deal of experience with laws and regulations that affect the creation and administration of a trust. A good source of finding a knowledgeable special needs trust attorney is the Special Needs Alliance. While you're there, check out their Special Needs 101 menu and see their resources including Life Care Planning and Government Benefits.



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