Special Needs Trusts

by: John B. Palley, Attorney

Parents of a disabled, or “special,” child or the spouse of an ailing husband or wife need assurance that should something happen to them, their loved one’s healthcare needs will be taken care of. A special needs trust — also known as a “supplemental needs trust” — allows parents and spouses to establish financial benefits for loved ones without disqualifying the beneficiary for additional assistance through programs like Medi-Cal in California. In establishing a special needs trust, great care must be taken in appointing a trustee and ensuring financial accountability is preserved. At the law office of Meissner, Joseph & Palley, our lawyers are familiar with the requirements for special needs trusts.

Special Needs Trusts – Choosing what works Best

The law office of Meissner, Joseph & Palley counsels and represents clients in regard to the following kinds of special needs trusts:

  • Family trust
  • Pooled trust
  • Court ordered trust
  • Qualifying for Medi-Cal and Government Assistance

People in need of long-term care often have no other option but to apply for Medi-Cal. However, the rules governing Medi-Cal effect what kinds of things can be purchased with funds from different kinds of trusts and annuities. For instance, clothing, food, even housing cannot be purchased with funds from a typical trust without impacting the beneficiary’s Medi-Cal eligibility. Additionally, there are tax concerns and other issues regarding the protection of certain assets that must be taken into account.

At Meissner, Joseph & Palley, our special needs attorneys review your financial situation, your investments, and your estate plan to determine how best to structure a special needs trust for your child or spouse. Our lawyers will explain the pros and cons of each special needs trust and determine what works best for.

To schedule a free consultation, contact the law offices of Meissner, Joseph & Palley. It’s never too soon to start planning for tomorrow today.

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