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San Fernando Valley Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Can a Special Needs Trust Pay for Food and Shelter?

Can a Special Needs Trust Pay for Food and Shelter.jpgFor someone with a disability, having a special needs trust can be the difference between having what they need to be comfortable and just getting by. One of the most important features of this resource is that it can be used to pay for the trust beneficiary's qualifying expenses without endangering his or her public benefit eligibility.  However, trust payments need to be made carefully.  Otherwise, they could be considered income to the beneficiary.  Many beneficiaries want to know:  Can a Special Needs Trust Pay for Food and Shelter?

Preventing Challenges to Your Will in California

Preventing Challenges to Your Will in California.jpgYour will is a part of your estate plan, which allows you to expressly state how you want your assets to be divided when you pass away.  Ideally, your wishes will be apparent to everyone involved and honored by your loved ones and survivors.  Unfortunately, there can be problems which can lead to your will being contested.  Fortunately, there are steps you can take, which may help prevent challenges to your will.

Understanding California Powers of Attorney

Understanding California Powers of Attorney.jpgWhen you think about planning for the future, taking steps such as drafting a will or creating a trust probably come to mind.  Another important part of preparing is being ready if you can't make decisions about your health care or finances.  Fortunately, by including California powers of attorney as part of your estate plan, you can have the right measures in place to help protect your interest. 

What are the basics of probate?

Californian residents who are dealing with the aftermath of the passing of a loved one will likely have to go through the probate process. This can be somewhat complex and difficult to deal with, but there are ways to get through.

FindLaw takes a look at the basics of this process, including what happens during probate. First, probate is either contested or uncontested. If it's uncontested, proceedings can go according to the decedent's will as planned. If contested, it means someone closed to the decedent believes they were left unfairly out of the proceedings. Such issues can arise if it is believed the decedent wasn't in their right mind when writing their will or if they were believed to be under undue influence at the time. Uncontested probate is much more common, however.

What common disabilities do people have that get a special needs trust?

What common disabilities do people have that get a special needs trust.jpgWhen you have a condition which limits your ability to work, government programs can be instrumental in meeting your medical needs and helping to pay for daily expenses.  Although these benefits are crucial, they are also income-sensitive meaning that in order to qualify to receive them, your income and assets will be extremely limited.  For California residents, setting up a special needs trust can be an effective way to pay for additional expenses without endangering benefit eligibility.  However, you have to have a qualifying disability to create this device.  What disabilities typically qualify for a special needs trust?

What to do When Your Loved one is Losing Capacity

What to do When Your Loved one is Losing Capacity.jpgSigns that your loved one's mental processes are slowing down can be subtle.  You may notice more and more that he or she repeats themselves or can't remember where they left an item or parked the car.  Over time, these symptoms can worsen to the point that you have real concerns for your loved one's safety.  Once you have reached this point, it is important to know what options are available.  Here are some considerations regarding what to do when your loved one is losing capacity.

Do you have to worry about probate?

Estate planning in California involves understanding what probate is, how it is likely to affect your loved ones after you pass on and what you can do now to simplify the process for your survivors. Not everyone in California has to worry about probate, but those who do have strategic estate planning options available to either shorten the process or avoid it altogether. 

According to The Motley Fool, if your estate is small, it may be eligible for a simplified probate process. In some cases, it may not be necessary for your estate to go to probate at all. In either scenario, it may be more trouble than it is worth to take steps to get around probate. However, if you have a substantial estate, you may want to consider the following strategies to maximize your loved ones' inheritance by avoiding probate.

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