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Special Needs Planning Attorney Serving Santa Clara County, CA

The California attorneys at the Law Offices of Berge & Berge are experienced in assisting clients in planning for loved ones with special needs. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in all aspects of special needs planning and work with caregivers and the disabled alike.

It is not uncommon for those responsible for a person with special needs to worry about that person’s future. Special needs can mean a variety of things such as a medical condition, developmental impairment or other impediments. If the person cannot handle his or her own financial affairs or care for him or herself independently, he or she likely qualifies as special needs. If you are the caregiver to an individual with special needs it is important to tailor your estate plan to provide for that person after your death. By using a veteran special needs planning attorney you can rest assured that you have done all you can improve this person’s life even after you are gone.

Special needs planning is usually done in one of two settings: estate planning or emergency situations. In an estate planning setting, the client is usually concerned about providing an inheritance for a loved one. This loved one might be unable to manage his or her affairs and/or may be receiving public benefits. A special needs trust, sometimes referred to as a supplemental needs trust, can be used to give an inheritance structure and also to preserve public benefits. These trusts are often referred to as third party special needs trusts as they are created by a third party for the benefit of another and can either be created as part of a revocable living trust or as an independent document. The person leaving the inheritance creates the trust and any assets that the disabled person receives from the estate are deposited into the trust and managed by an appointed trustee. This allows the person doing the estate planning to have control over how the assets are distributed to the disabled person and allows the disabled person to retain any benefits that they may be receiving. The trust assets can be used for any expenses not covered by the benefits the individual is receiving. If the special needs individual is unable to care for him or herself independently, other estate planning documents can be utilized to appoint a caregiver to take over after the current one’s death. Our attorneys work with clients to ease concerns by covering the care of the special needs loved ones from every angle.

In an emergency situation where the necessary planning has not been done, our attorneys can still assist a special needs individual. Often times, a special needs person will acquire a substantial sum of money, either through an inheritance, lawsuit or other settlement. If this person cannot manage his or her own affairs and/or needs to continue receiving benefits from the government, a first party special needs trust can be created. Our attorneys will petition the court for approval of this trust so that it is less likely to be called into question in the future.  

Special Needs Planning Lawyers in Santa Clara County

The process of planning for loved ones with special needs can be emotionally trying. The compassionate and supportive estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Berge & Berge can put your mind at ease, even if you are planning trusts for minors with special needs. We serve clients in San Jose and Santa Clara Counties. Call us at (408)985-9918 for a consultation today.


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