As a resident of California who is caring for someone with special needs, you will also have to handle unique areas of litigation that many others may not have to within their lifetime. Even matters involving trusts can differ. In fact, there are special needs trusts that are available specifically for people in your situation.
According to FindLaw, trusts are created when property of any sort is managed for one person by another. Under this definition, special needs trusts are specifically beneficial to people who have special needs or other disabilities that might make them incapable of managing their own property.
Special needs trusts can be managed by any trustworthy and reliable relative. If a situation occurs in which no such family member is available, then a third party will be appointed by the court. These trusts will manage a person's real estate, finances, and any other tangible items that might fall under the definition of "property".
Trusts can also be used in order to keep government support. If a trustee directly gives money to the beneficiary, it might actually exclude them from government benefits. To avoid this, you can instead use a special needs trust funds to buy things on behalf of your loved one instead. This can include necessities, physical therapy, education, or even things for recreation.
Generally speaking, creating a special needs trust is not hugely difficult, either. Anyone can create one as long as you use the proper legal wording. However, since this area can get nitpicky and tricky to deal with, it may be advisable in some cases to seek the aid of an attorney.