Special Needs Trusts & Planning Attorneys in Napa, California


Ensuring Continued Access to Public Benefits for Disabled Individuals

If you have a child with special needs, you might wonder how they will fare when you’re not here to ensure they get the care they need. While you won’t be here to provide their care forever, you can make sure they get what they need from other resources, such as government programs. If you want to rest assured your disabled child’s future is secure, consider creating a special needs trust. 

When you come to Celaya Law for legal support, you can talk to Napa, California special needs trust attorneys to ensure your estate plan allows your special needs child access to quality care. Contact our law firm to learn more about how special needs trusts can benefit your family.

Why Are Special Needs Trusts Necessary?

As the parent of a special needs child, you likely rely on government benefits that improve your child’s quality of life. These might include programs like Medi-Cal and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). As helpful as these public benefits are, they’re often just enough to pay for what people need, not what they want. As you begin the estate planning process, you’ll likely want to leave your special needs child enough money to live a comfortable life. 

But by leaving your child extra funds, you could affect their eligibility for public benefits. After all, SSI benefits and Medi-Cal are only available to people who don’t have the income to afford the necessities on their own. 

So, if your estate plan leaves valuable assets to your loved ones, the sudden influx of money could endanger your child’s eligibility for government benefits. Assuming the assets you leave your special needs child aren’t enough to pay for their medical care, housing, and other needs for life, you need a way to keep public benefits for them after you pass away. This is the purpose of a special needs trust. 

When the assets you leave your family members are in a trust, they won’t be counted when determining eligibility for benefits, ensuring your special needs child remains eligible for such programs after getting their inheritance. If you want to set up a special needs trust for your disabled child, contact us to work with an experienced estate planning attorney.

What Are the Benefits of Special Needs Trusts?

Much of your child’s care may be covered by public benefits, but leaving them additional funds in a special needs trust can ensure they can pay for extra items to improve their life. While public benefits pay for their medical treatment, food, and housing, the money you leave in a special needs trust can go toward:

  • Recreation, including participation in sports and hobbies
  • Vacations
  • Entertainment, including movies and concerts
  • Transportation, including buying a car
  • Tutoring 
  • Furniture 
  • Electronics, such as a TV, video game console, or computer
  • Medical and dental treatment not covered by Medi-Cal

If you want your child to be able to afford some luxuries while qualifying for public benefits, a special needs trust is essential. Depending on their disability, they will likely grow from a special needs child into a disabled adult whose expenses may increase. A special needs trust can give you peace of mind that your child will have the quality of life you want for them. Contact our law firm to talk to a special needs trust attorney.

What Are the Types of Special Needs Trusts?

When you talk to an attorney about special needs trusts, you’ll learn which type is right for your family. The most popular option is a third-party special needs trust. This is funded by someone who is not the beneficiary, usually their parents. However, sometimes grandparents, siblings, and other family members create special needs trusts to cover a loved one’s needs. 

Third-party special needs trusts cannot be required to reimburse government programs for the money spent on a person with a disability. This is why they’re usually preferred to first-party trusts, which are funded by the beneficiary and may be used to reimburse government programs upon their death. 

Typically, the only time a first-party special needs trust may be considered is if a disabled adult has funds that belong to them, such as from a personal injury lawsuit or inheritance. In that case, they can create a first-party special needs trust, but Medi-Cal and other programs will get any remaining funds when they pass away. This means they and their family have less control over their special needs trust than they would with a third-party trust. If you need help deciding between first-party and third-party special needs trusts, contact us for the legal services you need.

Are You Ready to Contact Special Needs Trusts & Planning Attorneys in Napa, California?

If you’re unsure if creating a special needs trust is the best way to ensure a child has the benefits they need when a parent dies, we encourage you to call our firm for estate planning help. Once we initiate an attorney-client relationship with you, we’ll review the benefits of each type of special needs trust so you can choose the right one for your family. We can then help transfer trust assets to the special needs trust that’s meant to provide for your child’s future. 

We understand that special needs planning may be new territory for you, so we’ll ensure you have a skilled special needs trust attorney by your side to answer any questions you have. We want you to be able to breathe a sigh of relief that your child’s financial future is secure, which is why we urge you to hire us to discuss your estate planning options. Call 707-754-0977 to speak to a special needs trust attorney at your convenience.

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