Special Needs Planning

Special Needs Planning from a Supplemental Needs Trust Lawyer

You are in the right place if you need to:

  • Ensure your special needs child has access to their inheritance and government benefits (receiving an inheritance could immediately disqualify any disabled individual from critical governmental assistance!)
  • Ensure that any judgment or settlement you receive does not disqualify you from your disability benefits;
  • Recently received an inheritance outside of a Special Needs Trust and are at risk for immediate disqualification from SSI and other governmental assistance!

Contact us today to schedule a Special Needs Planning Trust Evaluation

Supplemental social security and other governmental benefits may not last forever. San Diego Special Needs Trust Attorney Kristina Hess will help you make sure your special needs beneficiary has access to their inheritance and remains qualified for governmental benefits.

Supplemental or Special Needs Trusts

Self-Settled Special Needs Trusts

Self-settled special (supplemental) needs trusts are those created by oneself for oneself. It is important to note that self-settled special needs trusts have a lot of restrictions and often may require court approval.

Third Party Special Needs Trusts

Third party special or supplemental needs trusts are set up by a third party (parent, grandparent, court, or relative). If you are concerned about your child’s self-sufficiency and ability to survive on their own when you are no longer here, I suggest you consider a Third Party Special Needs Trust.

You son or daughter may qualify for supplemental social security (SSI) and other governmental benefits, however, these benefits may not last forever. In addition, if you own a home or have real estate investments and other assets, you will want to make sure your child has access to their inheritance without being disqualified from receiving governmental benefits. If at some point the beneficiary no longer qualifies for governmental assistance, the trust will make funds available to the beneficiary.

Once a special needs trust is set up, you and other relatives can fund it with annual gifts and direct your child’s portion of their inheritance to the special needs trust through their own revocable living trust.

If you have a son or daughter with special needs in California and would like the peace of mind knowing they will be cared for when you are no longer here, call our office today at (858) 461-6844 or email us and let us tell you how you can also pass on more than material wealth to future generations.

California Conservatorship

Your adult child with special needs will require someone to help them handle any inherited property. Through a limited conservatorship, a judge can grant a limited conservator rights to care for a developmentally disabled adult (limited conservatee).

In California, this involves filing a petition with the probate court, a hearing and other legal hurdles. The judge will only give the limited conservator power to do things the limited conservatee cannot do without help. The petitioner will need to show that the proposed conservatee is unable to manage their own financial affairs and would be susceptible to fraud or undue influence.

A conservatorship is also available for elderly relatives who lose the ability to manage their own affairs. However, in this situation, it is better to be proactive and have your parents do durable financial powers of attorney and advance health care directives. If these planning documents are in place, usually a conservatorship proceeding can be avoided.

If you have a son or daughter with special needs, and you need to manage an inheritance or other assets for them, or maybe you need a Special (supplemental) Needs Trust. Contact our office and we can assist you.