Sherman Oaks Special Needs Trust Attorney

Are you the parent, caregiver, or close family member of someone who receives benefits for a disability in the Sherman Oaks, California area? Do you wish to provide them with financial assistance without jeopardizing their eligibility for benefits?

If so, you may wish to consider establishing a special needs trust. A Sherman Oaks special needs trust attorney at the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen will gladly discuss options with you in greater detail.

What is the Purpose of a Special Needs Trust in Sherman Oaks, California?

If someone with a disability receives government benefits, financial need will often be a significant factor influencing their eligibility to receive benefits. Frequently, if a person owns more than a fairly low amount of assets, they may no longer qualify.

If owning an asset would disqualify a recipient from receiving important benefits, it may be necessary to place certain assets in a special needs trust. This allows a person to continue receiving benefits without forcing them to sacrifice assets.

Types of Sherman Oaks Special Needs Trusts

In general, special needs trusts come in three forms in California. They are:

  1. First-party special needs trust: This type of trust protects assets and money belonging to the individual with special needs. This is set-up by the special needs person themselves, often with the help of family or friends, and may involve court proceedings and approval. Usually, this is used in conjunction with a court settlement for litigation of other monetary settlements.
  2. Third-party special needs trust: Family members of a disabled individual may set up this type of special needs trust with a property that doesn’t belong to the beneficiary. If the beneficiary passes, assets left in the trust can be left to other beneficiaries.
  3. Pooled special needs trust: This type of trust can be either a first-party or special third-party needs trust. It is part of a “pool” of multiple special needs trusts, which a nonprofit organization will typically manage. The organization will manage the trust in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds that remain upon the beneficiary’s death.

How a Sherman Oaks Special Needs Trust Attorney Helps

It’s important that the language in a special needs trust be precise. This will ensure the trust is established in accordance with relevant laws. If it isn’t, the beneficiary may no longer qualify for government benefits.

Essential rules to be aware of include the following:

  • The trust’s function is to supplement government benefits
  • The trustee has the authority to determine how the proceeds of the trust will be used/distributed
  • The beneficiary doesn’t have direct control of the trust assets
  • The beneficiary can’t transfer rights given by the trust
  • The trust assets can’t be used to cover the cost of food or shelter
  • The trustee must make payments directly to the beneficiary’s provider

Establishing a legally valid special needs trust isn’t a task you need to handle on your own. With assistance from a Sherman Oaks special needs trust attorney at the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen, you can be certain a qualified professional is setting up a trust that’s in accordance with the law. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 661-481-0100.

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