Orange County California
Trust Attorneys

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Orange County Estate Planning Attorney James F. Roberts Discusses things to consider when creating and modifying your estate plan.

How To Use A Special Needs Trust With An IRA Beneficiary

A lot of our clients have significant money in their IRA, but they also have beneficiaries that need a special needs trust because they are on government assistance. The problems comes when you leave your IRA to beneficiary that is on government assistance. They will now have more than the government would allow them to have. For most programs that only have $2,000, so if you leave them more than $2,000 in your IRA, you’ve just disqualified them from government assistance.

This particularly applies to programs like SSI and Medi-Cal. In other states Medi-Cal is called Medicaid, but it’s their government assisted insurance. So, there is a way of setting up an IRA Trust in such a way that you can have the money being basically In a Special Needs Trust. The beneficiary can still get the benefits of SSI and Medicare or Medi-Cal, but they are still entitled to their IRA. They are also still entitled to the government assistance. This does take more sophisticated planning, because there’s some special rules as to how the income has to be accumulated, but if you want to know more about it contact us to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.

Follow up with your estate planning attorney to ensure that your estate plan honors your wishes and is set up correctly. Contact us today and set up an appointment.

We offer a many different resources and pamphlets on the subject of creating, updating and implementing estate plans. We also offer a regularly scheduled seminar in our office to help people determine what the best options are for them in their estate planning needs. We hope you sign up for one of our seminars to help you find your best options. We regularly conduct free seminars designed to teach about the benefits of creating an estate plan.


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Due to the CoVid19 virus California has issued a Stay-at-Home order. We understand how important the health and safety of our clients, and our staff is. We are complying with this order by continuing to work from our homes. While we are not in the office, we are still here to answer your questions, conducting consultations for review, and initial appointments by phone and email during normal business hours. We know that in this time, more than ever, it is important to have peace of mind about your estate planning. We are here to help you through this. Call our office number or email us and we will respond as quickly as possible.