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Trusts may help California parents provide for special needs kids

The lifespan of the average person seems to be increasing. This goes for all people in the United States, including those with special needs. For parents of children with Downs Syndrome or other mental disabilities, this may be a blessing but also a challenge when it comes to planning for retirement or crafting an estate plan. Some say that using trusts is one way California parents of special needs kids can provide for their futures.

Parents raising children with special needs already face many challenges in their daily lives that others typically do not encounter. A common worry among such parents is how their children will be provided for once they are no longer alive to do so. Setting up a special needs trust may be part of the answer.

Through assistance from a probate and estate administration attorney, parents can execute this type of trust. Any inheritance or assets intended to be left to special needs children goes into the trust. If properly executed, this trust will have no adverse effect on the eligibility of a special needs child to qualify for later government benefits, should this be needed after his or her parents are gone. 

Parents in California and elsewhere are advised to set up trusts for specially challenged children as early in life as possible. Delaying such actions may compromise benefit eligibility later down the line. Contacting an attorney would be one way to learn more about special needs trusts and seek clarification on any state or federal laws that govern such matters.

Source: wsj.com, "Financial Help for Parents of Special-Needs Children", Elizabeth O'Brien, June 12, 2016

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