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Protecting Public Benefits Through Special Needs Planning

If you have a disabled adult child, you are likely to have increasing concern for him or her as you age. We help clients from San Jose and the south San Francisco Bay Area plan for the care of loved ones with special needs as part of our estate planning services.

We can help you plan for yourself or a:

  • Disabled child
  • Disabled spouse
  • Disabled parent

If you are concerned about how to get care and pay for the care of a loved one who has suffered a stroke, Alzheimer’s or sudden illness, we can help.

At Berge & Berge, we specialize in helping people qualify for and maintain eligibility in California public benefit programs.

At Berge & Berge, we specialize in public benefit programs including Medi-Cal, VA benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. In California, public benefits are granted to certain individuals by the government if found necessary under two conditions:

  • Needs tested: Certain physical or social characteristics may qualify you for benefits.
  • Means based: You may receive benefits if your financial situation meets certain criteria.

When necessary, our attorneys can work with you to receive eligibility for public benefits such as medical care, financial support, disability payments and death benefits.

Helping People With Special Needs Trusts

If you are a person with a disability or wish to plan care for someone with a developmental disability or medical condition, we can help ensure that you receive a plan that works now and in the future. We can also help you maintain your plan or administer your trust.

Our lawyers can assist you in planning through a special needs trust, which may include:

  • Special Needs trust — Typically found in an estate planning situation where an inheritance is involved, this can preserve your loved one’s public benefits while providing additional financial benefits to him or her. Managed by an appointed trustee, the grantor can predetermine how assets are distributed to the person with special needs.
  • Emergency assistance — In cases where planning has not taken effect, our lawyers can help people with disabilities after receiving an inheritance, after receiving a settlement or upon winning a lawsuit. We can create a trust and petition the court for its approval, thereby protecting your loved one and his or her newfound finances.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in estate planning services. Our mission is to protect both those who are responsible for the care of another and those with disabilities.

If you are a trustee of a special needs trust responsible for managing money belonging to another, we can help you fulfill your duty.

Our services include advice and guidance on long-term care, both how to plan and how to pay for it.

Helping You Plan For A Loved One With Special Needs

If you are considering special needs planning and have questions about Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medi-Cal, VA benefits or any California public benefit, our experienced attorneys can help provide guidance, advice and counsel, as well as compassion and sensitivity to your situation.

Jim Berge, managing partner, has a master’s in tax law, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in California, and is a father and a husband. He understands your desire to protect yourself and your family, and he has the skill and knowledge needed to implement your wishes according to the law.

Email our firm to schedule an initial consultation, or call (408)985-9918. Easy to get to, our office also has free outdoor parking right next to the building.