Santa Monica Special Needs Trusts

Santa Monica Special Needs Trusts can help protect your disabled children from financial ruin in the future. In nearly every case, these children receive Medicaid money as well as supplemental income once they reach adulthood. If you do not set up a trust in Santa Monica, you may cause these valuable government benefits to stop and may cause your child to become financially insolvent.

When you want to leave your disabled child money upon your death, you will need to do so differently than you would for your non-disabled child. Rather than leaving them cash benefits in the will, you should instead set up a Santa Monica Special Needs Trust, which will help provide for their future needs while ensuring that they retain their government benefits.

The Effects of a Santa Monica Special Needs Trust

The government sees a special needs person’s assets differently than one might think. Instead of looking at everything the person owns as a financial asset, the government only looks at liquid assets, such as cash in a bank, when it comes to determining if the person qualifies for government assistance. Therefore, a Santa Monica special needs trust can save protected money for the disabled person without forcing them to give up governmental benefits.

In order to make the special needs trust work, the creator of the trust will need to name a trustee who will ensure that the money is used for the desired purpose. Cash from the trust cannot be given outright to the special needs individual. However, the trustee is allowed to spend money from the trust on needs that the person has. For example, money could be used to pay rent for an apartment, to cover medical bills, to hire a home care nurse or housekeeper or to purchase clothing. As long as the money is used for the disabled person but is not given in the form of cash, government benefits will be safe.

It can be very difficult for many Santa Monica families to understand how one of these trusts works. It can be easy to want to throw a trust together oneself and hope for the best, but because of many confusing laws, this type of self-made trust may not stand up in a court of law. We encourage you to contact one of our attorneys at Newman Aaronson Vanaman. We specialize in special needs law and have many attorneys who have worked with trusts for years.

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