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Protect your special needs children with a living trust

Children are born with and develop special needs every day in California. Some children are born with conditions such as Autism and Down Syndrome, which may require special care. Other children acquire conditions, such as Cerebral Palsy or different conditions during birth or as they grow. Whatever the cause of your children's (or grandchildren's) special needs, you know that they will require different protections and help as they grow up.

Thankfully, by working with an experience estate and trust attorney, you can create a special needs trust to ensure your vulnerable loved one wants for nothing.

Trusts, unlike simple estate plans and last wills, can create protected assets set aside for an individual until that person reaches a certain age or other specific milestone. Creating a special needs trust can ensure that your disabled loved one has assets to provide for his or her care which can't be seized by the state to cover expenses paid by state benefits.

A special needs trust can also limit who can access the trust and for what reason, helping to prevent your special needs loved one from being financially abused by other family members or professional caretakers.

A special needs trust needs special legal attention

If you know you want to set up a special needs trust for a dependent in your life, you need the help of an attorney who understands California estate and probate laws, as well as the sometimes complex laws relating to trusts. If someone you love needs care but isn't capable of managing assets, a special needs trust can ensure the proper use of those assets for living expenses and care.

You, as the person creating the trust, may wish to be a trustee. You may also want to arrange for another family member or loved one to stand as trustee in case anything happens to you that will end your ability to handle the trust.

If you don't have a secondary trustee named to manage the trust, the state of California may appoint a third party individual to manage the trust. This is often an undesirable solution, as most people with special needs dependents prefer to have people they know and respect handle the trust if they are unable to do so themselves.

Your attorney can help you create a trust with appropriate trustees to ensure your special needs loved one will always have financial resources, no matter what else happens.

Create a special needs trust with confidence

When you create a special needs trust, it needs to meet certain legal criteria. Your attorney will choose the language and structure within a trust very carefully to fully protect your special needs loved one and the assets intended for his or her future. Those assets you set aside should remain protected and used only for the education, physical needs and enrichment of the beneficiary of the trust.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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