Special Needs Planning

Happy Family

As the parent of a loved one with special needs, you know the many financial, medical and social challenges involved. You are no doubt concerned about obtaining the assistance you need now and ensuring your loved one will be properly cared for when you can no longer provide that care yourself. At Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law, we can protect your child’s eligibility for Medi-Cal, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and other government benefits while procuring the maximum amount of public and private resources available to you.

Special Needs Trusts

Special needs trusts typically seek to create a fund to augment services and care not provided by government assistance programs while at the same time maintaining eligibility for these programs (such as Medi-Cal and SSI). A special needs trust can include money for entertainment, travel expenses, wheelchair-accessible transportation, advanced dental and medical care, education, and more. In short, a special needs trust can provide for services capable of dramatically improving the quality of life of your loved one with special needs.

The concept behind special needs trusts seems obvious, but their proper design and implementation is complicated. Different government assistance programs have their own sets of rules. Improperly designed special needs trusts, and other planning mistakes, may jeopardize eligibility for necessary public assistance. In addition, care requirements for your special needs loved one will change over time, as will your financial situation. For a properly designed special needs trust and effective overall special needs planning, contact us for a personal meeting.

February 5, 2020

“Julianna Malis was fantastic each step of the way. She listened to us, asked questions about our needs, explained everything in a way we could understand, advised us on the fine details, and guided our decisions-making so we feel totally comfortable that our estate and our assets are secure and protected. We appreciate everything she did and highly recommend her services.”     –  Nat and Jean H.