Introduction to Trusts
Trusts, that is an area that I work a lot with families creating special needs trusts. This is a way that you can provide a way to manage resources for your child so that you can avoid ever needing to do a conservatorship. Conservatorship deals with the same thing as guardianship, but conservatorship deals with finances, deals with property, guardianship deals with the person and health, safety and welfare issues of a person. A well crafted special needs trust can help avoid the need to ever do a conservatorship plus it provides a lot of influence over that child’s life. One thing that I have noticed in probate court, whoever controls the money has a lot of influence over that child’s life. Even if someone else is going to be the guardian, possibly in a divorce situation where mom and dad are no longer married to each other, something happens to one, one way to exert some influence, you won’t be able change the fact that the biological parent will be the guardian, but you will be able to make that biological guardian more willing to work with your side of the family if you have a trust and there are some financial resources that are available to help meet that child’s needs or if the other parent is uncooperative they won’t have access to those financial resources. These are just some ideas as you are looking at this whole global issue. We are going to focus on the guardianship issues though here. You do have to consider making special needs trusts, there are a lot of wonderful things we can do with a special needs trust. One of those is providing a mechanism for management and control of that person and later when we talk about some criminal matters we will discuss what a special needs trust can do there as well
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