How to Use a Special Needs Trust

Backed by more than 20 years of experience, Joe Modlin helps clients to protect the needs of their loved ones while preserving eligibility for government benefits. Joe Modlin has served as an attorney to a number of clients who have sought his help in preparing special needs trusts.

If your child or another loved one has special needs and depends on you for financial support, you need to consider in advance what will happen after you pass. If the individual in question is receiving government benefits, such as Social Security or Medicaid, an inheritance may be more detrimental than helpful. For instance, a person with special needs who receives Social Security payments may not have assets over $2,000. A simple gift of even $2,001 would cancel the person’s benefits and potentially leave him or her in serious jeopardy.

The Special Needs Trust allows a caregiver or guardian to channel money into a specific account, from which the fund administrator can allocate resources as needed. The fund administrator, also known as the trustee, cannot disburse money directly to the beneficiary, as this would complicate benefits determination, but instead uses the funds to pay for such expenses as personal care, medical expenses, and transportation costs. Because the trustee controls the account, the government does not consider it an asset of the beneficiary; however, the beneficiary still receives the support that the trust makes possible.


Fishing Opportunities Near McClellan, California

Attorney Joe Modlin practices law in the Sacramento suburb of Sacramento, California. He has more than 25 years’ experience protecting his clients’ rights and is especially proficient at elder law, helping clients to establish special needs trusts and plan for Medi-Cal. Outside the office, Joe Modlin enjoys spending time fishing the various waters in the area for a variety of fish.

The city of Sacramento sits at the confluence of the American and the Sacramento Rivers. The Sacramento River is one of northern California’s main rivers, stretching for more than 400 miles from its headwaters in the Klamath Mountains to its mouth in San Francisco Bay. It’s always open season for some species of fish in Sacramento, although a fishing license is required. The Sacramento and the American are home to steelhead, trout, sturgeon, striped bass, King salmon and American shad, as well as a range of other fish.

Sacramento’s Southside Park Pond is stocked with catfish in the spring, summer, and fall, and with trout in the winter. Further east along the American River is Folsom Lake, popular with both boaters and shore anglers. It is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, Kokanee salmon, perch, sunfish, catfish and bullhead, as well as other panfish.

Further downriver from Sacramento is the delta formed by the confluence of the Sacramento flowing from the North and the San Joaquin flowing from the Southeast. Extremely popular with anglers, the delta is home to more than 20 different species of fish.