California Special Needs Planning Attorney
Families of individuals with special needs may face a number of unique challenges as they plan and prepare for the future. A California special needs planning attorney can help ensure that children and adults with special needs are protected for the future, whether that means planning ahead for their education, their future living needs, or their eligibility for government assistance programs.
What Is Special Needs Planning?
Special needs planning is a critical part of the estate planning process for caregivers of individuals with special needs. That estate planning process will help set up for the unique needs of a disabled child or adult, including identifying a future caregiver who will take over responsibility for the disabled individual and providing the tools and financial support needed for that individual’s future.
How Can a California Special Needs Planning Attorney Help?
A special needs planning attorney can offer a number of advantages to families who are trying to plan for the future. A special needs planning lawyer can:
- Help parents understand the rights of a child or adult with special needs
- Give families more information about the government assistance programs their loved one qualifies for
- Set up legal documentation to help protect a disabled or special needs family member
A special needs planning attorney in California can make it easier for families to consider the specific needs of a loved one who may need additional support in the future.
Essential Special Needs Planning Tools and Documents
There are several tools and documents a family may need to take into consideration when arranging plans for a special needs family member.
- A will. It’s important that families with special needs members have a will that clearly lays out expectations for the distribution of assets and who will care for a disabled family member following the death of the primary caregiver.
- A special needs trust, which can issue specific ways in which the funds can be paid out to the special needs family member and protect that individual’s right to public assistance and benefits
- Long-term care insurance and life insurance policies for parents of special needs children, which can help provide financially for the child in the event of a disaster for family members
- ABLE accounts, which can help provide an additional source of funds for special needs individuals without compromising their ability to pursue disability assistance
A California special needs planning lawyer can help go over the tools your family may need.
When to Contact a Special Needs Planning Attorney in California
If you are a caregiver for a family member with special needs, from a child to a spouse, it’s critical that you have a plan in place for providing support to that family member in the event of your death. Get in touch with a California special needs planning attorney as soon as possible, and make sure you update your will and trust information regularly as your financial circumstances change. You can begin the process today beginning with a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any common pitfalls to avoid in special needs planning?
There are several common mistakes made in special needs planning throughout California, including:
- Failing to put a plan in place that will protect a special needs child after their parents’ death
- Trying to handle estate planning for a special needs family on your own, without the help of a special needs planning attorney
- Not protecting assets for a special needs family member
- Assuming that public benefits alone will be enough to provide for a special needs family member
- Not carefully designating a guardian or caregiver for a special needs family member, including asking that family member ahead of time
Working with a special needs planning attorney in California can help ensure that you can set your family member up for success.
If I leave funds to a special needs family member, will it interfere with their ability to receive public benefits?
There are specific types of trusts and accounts designed specifically for special needs individuals that will allow them to have backup funds when they need them, or even an additional source of income, without jeopardizing their public benefits. A special needs planning lawyer can help you select the right options for your family and your loved one.
Should I just leave money to the family member designated as the caregiver for a special needs loved one?
You can never assume that a family member will use funds to care for a special needs loved one. Many family members have their own needs to take into consideration, and you do not want to run the risk that your special needs loved one will be taken advantage of after your death. Setting up a trust or account specifically for a loved one with special needs can put them in a better financial position and ensure that they are taken care of, rather than leaving them reliant on public benefits alone.
We are here to help you
Do you need assistance getting your Trust completed? We know it can be confusing and intimidating to start, don’t stress. We can help you get a plan in place and make sure your wishes are legally documented and that your family is protected, giving you peace-of-mind. To get started, call our office at (805) 518-9633, click below to schedule an appointment, or complete the form below and one of our team members will be in contact with you. We will help you determine whether a trust makes sense for your situation. You do not have to make these decisions alone.
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