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Different Types of Special Needs Trusts

There are several types of Special Needs Trusts, the most common of which are self-funded and third-party.

A self-funded (also known as a First Party) Special Needs Trust is typically intended to protect the assets of an individual with a disability. This type of trust must be created by a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian, or by a court, but it cannot be created by the individual. One of the most common applications of a self-funded Special Needs Trust arises when an individual receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSI is a government program that provides approximately eight million low-income Americans with assistance. In order to qualify, the individual can only have $2,000 in his or her name. If that individual receives excess assets - say, for example, due to an inheritance - he or she may only continue to receive SSI by putting the assets into self-funded Special Needs Trust. Those assets can them be used to supplement the individual's public benefits during his or her lifetime. Upon death, any funds remaining shall be distributed to the government as repayment for the cost of his or her medical care.

A third-party Special Needs Trust is similar to a self-funded Special Needs Trust in that the purpose is to protect the assets of a disabled beneficiary. Assets can be held in trust so that the beneficiary is not at risk of losing his or her government benefits upon receipt of an inheritance. The main difference between the two trusts is that, upon death, any remaining assets can be distributed to other family members, friends, or charities - thus, the assets pass on through the trust to another individual or entity, rather than being used to reimburse the government.

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Elder Law Services of California, APLC provides the same strategic planning and legal representative of larger firms, yet in a personalized, family-like manner. Our priority is to provide the highest level of legal services and client satisfaction when representing your Medi-Cal Planning, Estate Planning, Trust Administration, or Probate cases. Above all, we understand the importance of you and your family’s financial future and legal security.

Our team of Attorneys and legal support staff have assisted thousands of different families by giving them the freedom to plan for the security of their future, while also providing peace of mind with our experienced legal advice. As our name, Elder Law Services of California, APLC serves all families in California, with convenient locations throughout Los Angeles, as well as locations in Northern California, and San Diego.

Whether you need to qualify for Medi-Cal, pay for long-term care, create an estate plan and powers of attorney, proceed a conservatorship, protect your assets, or deal with the loss of a loved one, our team is there for you every step of the way. Sadly, many families are unprepared for any significant planning for their future, so take the first step today to protect your family’s integrity.

Elder Law Services  of California, APLC.
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