Palo Alto Special Needs Trust Lawyer
Helping Families Throughout the Bay Area Protect Their Loved Ones
At Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP, we recognize there is nothing more important than family. Like you, we believe that providing for your loved ones is not only a responsibility, but a privilege.
Each family faces unique challenges when addressing their long-term needs, and this is especially true if you have a loved one who is unable to work or live independently. Children and family members with autism or other types of special needs will require enhanced levels of care and planning attention.
Our special needs trust lawyers in Palo Alto can help you take proactive steps to ensure your loved one will have the resources and financial support they need to live a full and comfortable life. We are pioneers of this area of the law and are deeply involved in the continuing development of the field.
Our team has over thirty-five years of experience and is committed to delivering the peace of mind your family deserves. When you come to us for legal guidance, we will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, review your options, and implement the appropriate tools, including special needs trusts.
The Importance of the Special Needs Trust
When someone is unable to work as a result of a physical or mental condition, they may struggle to financially provide for themselves. While parents and other family members will often financially support individuals in these scenarios, they may understandably worry about what will happen to their loved one when they are no longer around to care for them.
While public benefits are available to individuals with special needs, they often do not provide an adequate level of financial assistance. Furthermore, eligibility is dependent on meeting highly restrictive income and asset limits. This can paradoxically limit a family’s ability to give their loved one the monetary aid they need.
Does A Special Needs Trust Impact Government Benefit Eligibility
A special needs trust is an ideal legal tool that facilitates a lifelong financial safety net without disturbing eligibility for vital government benefits. Assets held in a special needs trust are not counted when determining eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medi-Cal. Assets in these trusts are used to supplement government assistance and pay for goods and services that the public benefits system is unable to provide.
For individuals with special needs, no other type of trust is more important. Our Palo Alto special needs trust attorneys can help you make the most of this invaluable estate planning instrument.
Ready to get started? Call (650) 683-9200 today to learn more!
Certified Specialists in Estate Planning & Elder Law
Co-Founder of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys
Pioneers in Elder Law & Estate Planning
Hundreds of Millions of Clients' Dollars in Taxes Saved
Thousands of Families in the Community Served
Over 35 Years of Serving the Bay Area
Upcoming Events & Webinars
- Meet the Team
- The Extraordinary Benefits of Dynasty Trusts: Not Just for the Ultra-Wealthy
- Past Webinars
Sophisticated and Comprehensive Eligibility Protection for Individuals with Disabilities in California
Transfers of monetary and physical assets must be carefully handled to ensure a loved one with special needs does not inadvertently violate eligibility rules for applicable public benefits. Even temporarily exceeding asset or income limits can result in extended periods of ineligibility, potentially endangering your family member’s financial security.
For this reason, you should always consult an experienced legal professional before moving or transferring ownership of assets. Our team is familiar with many scenarios where financial resources can unwittingly disturb Medi-Cal or SSI eligibility. For example, we often work with personal injury attorneys to ensure that settlements and awards are not granted directly to an individual with special needs. Instead, we direct these assets to be placed in the special needs trust so that they remain available to the individual throughout their lifetime.
Additional Educational Resources
Our Palo Alto special needs trust lawyers are nationally recognized innovators in this area of the law and are proud to offer a variety of educational resources to families throughout California. Our Annual Special Needs Trust Community Seminar explains how these trusts work, the value they offer, and practical advice for how they should be operated. We are pleased to partner with nearly a dozen nonprofit organizations that serve as cosponsors of this well-attended event.
Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP has also published a comprehensive guide, Special Needs Trust Creation and Management Guide with ABLE Act Updates, on this subject. This book is designed for use by parents and those who serve as trustees or managers of special needs trusts. Our goal is to identify the most important issues that typically arise and to explore how to effectively address them. Above all, the guide aims to be practical and is a “must-read” if you have a family member with a disability. We invite you to order your copy today.
Call (650) 683-9200 or contact us online to learn more about the benefits of special needs trusts.