Over the past 30 years, the number of people in the United States who suffer from a mental or physical disability has grown steadily. Approximately 18% of adults experience some form of mental illness each year, and adults who have a serious mental illness are at greater risk of developing a chronic physical illness. Though many adults with diagnosed mental illnesses lead fulfilling lives, it is important to remember that those with special needs are sometimes targeted by those who want to take advantage of an at-risk group. Mental illness itself combined with greater vulnerability has been attributed to the high percentage of homeless adults who suffer with serious to severe mental illness. Creating a special needs trust for your loved one is a way to help protect him or her and his or her assets when you are no longer physically able to care for him or her. Getting advice from a special needs trust attorney helps ensure that no important details are overlooked.

 Keep Government Eligibility in Mind

Adults who live with qualifying illnesses can receive government benefits that provide vital services. Medi-Cal insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two programs often utilized by individuals with special needs. Medi-Cal provides valuable health coverage that is necessary for ongoing therapy, medical procedures, and to cover the costs of prescription medications. SSI is a cash assistance program that ensures individuals with disabilities have enough money to purchase food, clothing, pay for shelter and other necessities that a person with little or no income is unable to afford. To qualify for these government programs the participant must meet certain income requirements and receiving a large sum of money could disqualify them. Keeping these income guidelines in mind when establishing a special needs trust is important when your beneficiary needs to maintain his or her government benefits.

 Give Detailed Instructions

When a trust is being created for a person who is incapable of managing his or her own finances without difficulty, the donor should carefully outline exactly how he or she wants the trust assets to be used. The trustee administering the assets is then able to fulfill the actual wishes of the donor. Since the money in some special needs trusts cannot be given directly to the beneficiary, the trustee is responsible for making payments on goods and services that are used by the beneficiary. Detailed instructions make things easier for the trustee and ensure that your loved ones will have everything that you would want them to have while protecting their financial futures.

 Contact MMZ LAW

 Creating a trust and planning for the long-term care of a loved one with special needs is stressful but extremely important. MMZ Law understand that ensuring your family members are protected after you are gone is extremely important. We are here to help you explore the benefits of establishing a special needs trust and can discuss all the options available to you based on your unique situation. Contact us today to set up a consultation at our conveniently located Claremont, California office.


Please call (909) 256-6702 to discuss your questions and schedule a free consultation:
Trust and Estate, Elder Law, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration and Probate in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties. We offer flat, hourly and contingent fees, based on the type of matter.




341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Trust and Estate, Elder Law, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration and Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont and assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.