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Special Needs Trusts Attorney in Orange County, California

If you're seeking to provide financial support for a loved one with disabilities without disrupting their eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a Special Needs Trust (SNT) could be the solution. 

Here at The Farano Law Group APC, we excel at crafting these legal arrangements tailored to your unique situation. Serving clients across Orange County, Riverside County, and Los Angeles County, we're committed to preserving the financial stability and well-being of individuals with disabilities. Contact us to explore how an SNT can safeguard your loved one's future while maintaining their access to crucial government programs. 

What Is a Special Needs Trust? 

A Special Needs Trust (SNT) is a legal setup that enables individuals with disabilities to maintain eligibility for government benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). By placing assets in a trust, the beneficiary can receive supplemental support without risking their eligibility for these vital programs. 

Beyond maintaining eligibility for government benefits, an SNT can cover supplemental needs not covered by these programs. Things like companion costs or dental and medical expenses not covered by Medicare or Medicaid can be taken care of through the trust. 

There are two types of SNTs: first-party SNTs and third-party SNTs. A first-party SNT is funded with the disabled individual's own assets, such as an inheritance or a personal injury settlement. Conversely, a third-party SNT is funded with assets belonging to someone other than the beneficiary, such as gifts or life insurance policy proceeds. 

It's crucial to note that a Special Needs Trust must be irrevocable, meaning it cannot be changed or revoked once it is established. This level of permanence ensures that the trust remains intact and provides long-term financial security for individuals with special needs. 

The trust document serves as a comprehensive guide, outlining the trustee's authority and responsibilities, the specific provisions for the beneficiary's care, and the conditions under which the trust will terminate. By carefully establishing and maintaining a Special Needs Trust, families can ensure that their loved ones have the necessary support and resources throughout their lives. 

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What Is an ABLE Account? 

Besides Special Needs Trusts, families might also consider opening an ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) account. An ABLE account is a tax-advantaged savings account designed to help individuals with disabilities save and invest money without affecting their eligibility for government benefits.

To be eligible for an ABLE account, the individual must have a significant disability that began before their 26th birthday. If they meet this age requirement, they also need to meet one of the following criteria:  

  1. They are entitled to benefits based on blindness or disability under the Social Security Act (SSI or SSDI), OR 

  1. They can provide a "disability certification" from a physician, which includes a detailed diagnosis and confirmation that the disability resulted in "marked and severe functional limitations." 

ABLE accounts have certain limitations, such as an annual contribution limit and restrictions on how the funds can be used. However, they offer individuals with disabilities the chance to save for qualified disability expenses, such as education, housing, transportation, and healthcare. 

We're here to guide you through the process of determining whether an ABLE account or a Special Needs Trust is the right choice for your family's specific circumstances. 

Which One Is Right for Your Family? 

When deciding between a Special Needs Trust and an ABLE account, it's important to consider several factors. These include the source of funds, the amount of assets involved, and the specific needs of the individual with disabilities. By evaluating these factors, our experienced attorney can assist you in making an informed decision that best meets your unique circumstances and provides the necessary support for your loved one. Whether it's safeguarding assets or maximizing financial resources, we are here to guide you through the process and ensure a secure future.

We'll thoroughly assess your family's financial situation, long-term goals, and the eligibility requirements for government benefits. By understanding your unique circumstances, we can provide personalized advice and create a comprehensive plan that meets your family's desired outcomes. 

Establishing a Special Needs Trust is a pivotal step in securing your loved one’s future. We're here to support you throughout this process, providing expert guidance and ensuring that your trust is legally sound and tailored to your family's needs. 

Special Needs Trusts Attorney in Orange County, California 

Planning for the future can be overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Serving clients throughout Orange County, Riverside County, and Los Angeles County, The Farano Law Group APC is committed to helping families like yours navigate the complex world of special needs planning. Don't hesitate to contact us today to schedule a consultation. Take the first step towards protecting your loved one's financial security and well-being. We're ready when you are.