Estate planning for children with special needs

Many California parents worry about their children's futures. This can be especially true when a child has special needs. These children often need additional support that is both emotional and financial in nature.

It can be difficult to think about a future where these children, even as adults, have to live without the love and support of their parents, but oftentimes that future becomes a reality. This is why individuals who have special needs children need to carefully consider how best to engage in estate planning so that their children are cared for as fully as possible when the time comes.

Although there are many estate planning options available to Californians, one of the best when it comes to children with unique needs is the special needs trust. This type of trust allows an individual to set assets, oftentimes money, aside for a special needs child so that it is appropriately managed and can even grow over time.

One of the biggest benefits of this type of trust is that it doesn't affect a beneficiary's ability to qualify for many public benefits. This can help ensure that these children have the financial support they need to get by.

Choosing the trustee of a special needs trust is extremely important. This individual will be tasked not only with managing the trust's assets, but also overseeing distribution of those assets to the named beneficiary. Sometimes the distribution terms are relatively straightforward, but other times they can be complex, thereby giving the trustee more discretion. Because this individual holds a lot of responsibility, he or she must be carefully chosen.

Figuring out how to fund a special needs trust can be frustrating, too, especially when one budgets how much a special needs child will need to survive in the years or decades to come. By working with a skilled legal professional, though, these individuals can come up with a plan that provides as much financial protection as possible moving forward. Therefore, those who find themselves dealing with these matters should consider consulting with a legal advocate who is experienced in this area of the law.

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