At the Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai, we understand that there are many ways to plan your estate, ranging from writing a last will and testament to setting up a trust. As you and other California residents may know, there are many types of trusts you can consider, which can benefit you and other family members in many ways. One type of trust, the special needs trust, is meant to protect the assets of someone with disabilities and allow him or her to stay eligible for Medicaid and other forms of government assistance.
What if you became permanently disabled in an accident and lost your job? You would need health care coverage, but the property you own could disqualify you from government benefits. You might consider setting up a first-party special needs trust, according to the National Law Review. Before December 2016, only a disabled person’s parent, grandparent, legal guardian or the court could establish a special needs trust. As you might imagine, this would be beneficial for those who are unable to make financial decisions on their own, but it would be demeaning to the disabled who are mentally sound. First-party special needs trusts differ from third-party trusts in that mentally competent people with special needs can set up the terms of their own trust.
A first-party special needs trust can help you maintain your independence and ensure your health needs are taken care of. Our page on wills and trusts explains some of the different options you have when considering your estate planning.