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Special Needs Attorney Near Me


Receive Expert Legal Counsel on Special Needs.

The Hess-Verdon Law Firm, located in Newport Beach, Orange County works diligently to help our special needs families with proper direction on SNT management.


Hess-Verdon Specializes as a special Needs Trust law firm Serving Orange County families

Learn what you should know!

Choosing the Right Special Needs Law Firm is Paramount

Searching for a Special Needs Trust Attorney in Orange County?

A variety of state and federal benefits are available for persons who may need skilled nursing care or who are unable to support themselves due to a disability. Using a Special Needs Trust (SNT) can allow a disabled beneficiary to take advantage of both public benefits and a settlement from a lawsuit, a gift, or a distribution from inheritance.

Serving California Special Needs Residents: Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Fountain Valley, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Yorba Linda, San Clemente, Laguna Hills, Coto De Caza, Tustin, Seal Beach, Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Stanton, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Mission Viejo, Placentia, Orange, Villa Park and surrounding cities.


Special Needs Trust and what to consider  


What are a Special Needs Trust (SNTs)?

(other names: special treatment trusts, special purpose trusts)

A Special Needs Trust is a legal document and trust designed around assisting people with disabilities. 

It was designed to allow the disabled beneficiary to have an unlimited amount of assets but still qualify for government benefits. 

These trusts prevent the Medicaid beneficiary from being disqualified from Medicaid long-term care for being “over-resourced” — i.e., having too many assets.

Should I use a Special Needs Trust Attorney?

We found after speaking with many families with SNT needs that it is the highest importance to reach out to an expert to ensure properly established trust documents. 

If not careful, many small issues can jeopardize the SNT. We recommend reviewing a few attorneys to ensure they are the team you will feel comfortable with and will be around to assist whenever necessary. Hess-Verdon is an Orange County Trust Attorney Law firm.

Special Needs Attorney Near Me

Usually, these government-funded benefits provide the recipient with food, shelter, clothing, or essential medical services. However, without supplemental funds or resources, these minimal government benefits do not provide adequate cover. Minimum cover for dental care, specialized therapy, equipment to provide extra comfort or mobility, or resources for recreation.

What can the funds cover in a special needs trust?

  1. One car/van but should be in the Trustee’s name
  2. Insurance for the car but should be in the Trustee’s name
  3. Legal services like accounting
  4. Memberships like a gym, yoga, clubs, etc
  5. Can purchase appliances like a TV, washer/dryers, refrigerators, etc.
  6. Services like cable, etc
  7. Electronic hardware like computers, software, internet services
  8. Learning topics like courses and classes
  9. Things around the house like rugs, drapes, etc.
  10. To pay for things in the home like towels, deodorant, soap, personal hygiene products, etc.
  11. Others are like dental work not covered by Medicaid. (Annual Checkups)
  12. If there are enough assets to buy a home outright, the beneficiary may be able to live in the property rent-free and will not affect their SSI grant.

What expenses can’t a Special Needs Trust Pay?

  1. Food like groceries, going out for dinner, etc..
  2. Can’t be used for a mortgage including paying for property insurance
  3. Rent
  4. Gas, water, sewer, garbage, gift cards

Why are some things not covered?

  1. You can jeopardize SSI/ Medicaid/ Food Stamp Benefits as it is considered income. Your SSI benefits would pay for these.

Learn more about Third-party special needs trust.

Before understanding what a third-party needs trust is, it’s essential to know the types of Trusts associated with special needs. We’ll go over the types of special needs trust below designed to manage the resources of a person with special needs.

Types of Special Needs Trusts (Irrevocable Trust)

  1. Third-party Special Needs Trust
  2. First-party Special Needs Trust
  3. Pooled Trusts

JIllyn Hess-Verdon

Managing Partner



Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

Servicing Southern California Special Needs Clients


Many people believe to search for a “special needs attorney near me” is ok but that may not be the best choice. It’s essential to choose a law firm that specializes in special needs trust. Hess-Verdon & Associates does just that!

Third Party Special Needs Trust

Benefits of third-party special needs trust.

Fund in the trust never belongs to the beneficiary, therefore the government is not entitled to reimbursement for Medicaid payments upon death.

Call us to learn more about third-party special needs trust.

What are some special needs topics I should know?

Things to consider are the following:

  1. Assets in the beneficiary name. (Current limit is $2,000.00) 
  2. Financial planning
  3. Special Needs Trust
  4. SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Income)
  5. Settlement Planning
  6. Public Benefits
  7. Health Care
  8. Estate Planning
  9. Disability Issues

What other alternative is there to Special Needs Trusts?  

  1. Achieving a Better Life Experience ACT (ABLE). Go here –>IRS ABLE Accounts of 2014
  2. Passed in 2014 to allow for special bank accounts for individuals with a disability

What are the two most common types of special needs trusts? (First-party and 3rd-party)

First-Party funds – (d)(4)(A) trust (referring to its authorizing statute) (i.e., trusts that are funded directly by the person with a disability, which may be subject to Medicaid payback rules) and third-party funds (i.e., trusts that are supported by parents, grandparents, guardians or other funding sources that are likely, not subject to Medicaid payback rules)

  1. What are some qualifications for a first-party trust?
  1. The disabled beneficiary should be under the age of 65 and disabled
  2. The trust should be created by a parent, grandparent, guardian, or the court.
  3. When creating the SNT, the State in which the beneficiary lives should be designated as the primary beneficiary of the trust.
  4. And the assets in the SNT should be only used for the Medicaid beneficiary.

Take Note: Both first-party and third-party SNTs should be drafted correctly to protect the disabled beneficiary’s right to receive means-tested public benefits.

2nd note: The tax consequences of SNTs are also very complex.

3rd note: Some States require that an annual budget be established.

4th note: If you don’t follow State rules, and they may change periodically, you will disqualify the trust and disqualify the beneficiary from Medicaid.

 5th note: Pool trust. Also known as (d)(4)(C) Trust. A pooled trust established by a non-profit organization that combines assets from many people. (contact us for details)

Special Needs Attorney Near Me

Hess-Verdon & Associates will Guide You through the Special Needs Trust Process!

How does the beneficiary access the special needs trust?

    1. The Trustee can purchase necessities for the loved one, services like personal care, vacations, home furnishings (see above partial list). The Trustee could disqualify the beneficiary by directly giving the cherished one money, etc..

    We hope the above breakdown has helped you. But, before taking your next step, our courteous and helpful Trust Attorneys are a phone call away. 

    Hess-Verdon is in Newport Beach, CA. 

    Hess-Verdon is your choice for all your Special Needs Trust questions.

    Call (888) 318-4430

    We will make sure the trust is created using the language necessary to make it valid. We will also make sure it’s broad enough to meet the evolving needs of the disabled beneficiary.

    Other Topics we will cover: Spend down plan, Settlement protection trust, Pooled trust, ABLE account.

    Hess-Verdon Team of attorneys

    See our Successful Reviews!

    Special Needs Trust Attorney Of Orange County, Ca

    “I have been working with this firm since 1994; you can’t beat a firm like this, that is so ethical and competent.”

    Dixie Fisher

    Client Since 1994

    Special Needs Trust Attorney Of Orange County, Ca

    “We’ve always felt comfortable sharing our concerns with Hess-Verdon & Associates and have felt confident that the job was well done and the concerns answered.”

    Malou Cole

    Client Since 2006

    Special Needs Trust Attorney Of Orange County, Ca

    Truly exceptional law firm! They provided concise, decisive legal assistance during unanticipated events during estate proceedings. They made a bad situation better. Our family will always be grateful. There is no one I would rather have than Hess-Verdon & Associates representing my family.

    Wade Shannon

    Client Since 2014

    Special Needs Trust Attorney Of Orange County, Ca

    “Outstanding expertise and client support”

    Suzanne Casey

    Client Since 2018

    Special Needs Trust Attorney Of Orange County, Ca

    “Hess-Verdon is very professional and knowledgeable on corporate law, that can help with estate planning matters.”

    Roy Trachsel

    Client Since 1995

    Special Needs Trust Attorney Of Orange County, Ca

    “Absolutely top notch firm for handling all your estate planning matters.”

    Dean Williams

    Client Since 1995

    Special Needs Trust Attorney Of Orange County, Ca

    “Definitely a firm that will “fight to the finish.”

    Frances Gruben

    Client Since 2010

    Special Needs Trust Attorney Of Orange County, Ca

    “I have been working with this firm since 1994; you can’t beat a firm like this, that is so ethical and competent.”

    Dixie Fisher

    Client Since 1994