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We Love Our Special Needs Family!
We work Diligently to Help our Special Needs Children
Who we are

Hess-Verdon is one of the friendliest and most sophisticated Special Needs Law Firms,
Let us explain what
can jeopardize a Special Needs Trust.
Our Process in second to none!

Who we are?
Who we are?

Special Needs Trust Attorney in Orange County, CA.

Attorney for Special Needs Child

Special Needs Trust- What You Should Know!

How to Find a Special Needs Attorney

and what to consider when selecting the Hess-Verdon Law firm.

Your Orange County Special Needs Attorneys


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.

About Hess-Verdon & Associates: Our firm tailors each trust to address the unique situation and circumstances of each client.

We Look Forward to Meeting You!

Call 949-706-7300

Serving State: California, Southern California

Serving Counties: Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside & San Bernardino County, San Diego County

Serving Cities: Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Newport Coast, Corona Del Mar, Santa Ana, Anaheim, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Buena Park, Fullerton, Orange, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Garden Grove, Tustin, Yorba Linda, Fountain Valley, Westminster, Dana Point, Rancho Santa Margarita, North Tustin, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Villa Park, Ladera Ranch, Placentia, Laguna Woods, Aliso Viejo, Coto De Caza, State of California


Special Needs Trust

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.

Schedule an appointment today. Our specialized team is ready to assist you.

Call 949-706-7300.

What is 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.

Our knowledgable and aggressive actions are necessary to ensure the trustor maintains their wishes on how the estate should be administered.

We are the Special Needs Law Firm in Orange County

We are here to bring Peace of Mind!

Competent, Experienced Legal Representation, Well Established

Get Smart & Strategic Legal Advice. Your loved ones deserve it!

What can the funds cover in a special needs trust?

  1. One car/van but must be in the Trustee’s name
  2. Insurance for the car but must 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.


Contact Our Estate Planning Attorney Firm Today

A properly designed and administered Special Needs Trust can provide funds to supplement the disabled beneficiary’s government benefits. 

Call now: 949-706-7300


Servicing Southern California Special Needs Clients


Many people believe to search for a “special needs attorney near me” is ok but that may be the best choice. It’s essential to choose a law firm that likes to specialize in this type of 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 must be under the age of 65 and disabled
  2. The trust must be created by a parent, grandparent, guardian, or the court.
  3. When creating the SNT, the State in which the beneficiary lives must be designated as the primary beneficiary of the trust.
  4. And the assets in the SNT must be only used for the Medicaid beneficiary.

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

2nd note: 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)

Contact Our Friendly Attorney Staff Today!

From day 1 we will work diligently and provide experienced legal counsel. Simply fill out the form below, and we will call you to discuss.  Thank you.

We are proud to serve Clients throughout California.

Where are we located?


We are located near the Fashion Island in Newport Beach. 

Our address is 620 Newport Center Drive, Suite 1400.

Call: 949-706-7300

Experienced Legal Counsel

Our firm tailors each trust to address the unique situation and circumstances of each client. There are many issues addressed when planning your Trust and Estate, and especially if you have beneficiaries with disabilities who should be provided for through a Special Needs Trust.

This information is provided as a legal advisor and does not offer any specific legal advice to any individual case.

(Meet the Hess-Verdon team here).

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: 949-706-7300. 

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.

Looking forward to our discussions!

Your Orange County Law Firm

Living Trusts, Estate Planning, Business Formation, Real Estate Law

Trust Litigation | Business Litigation | Real Estate Litigation

Jillyn Hess-Verdon

Managing Partner

Keith Van Dyke


James R. Cunningham

Senior Associate - Attorney

R. Kurt Ketchum

Associate Attorney

David Crumpton

Associate Attorney

Fee Arrangements Include:

  • Hourly fees, regular rates, structured rates, and custom rates to meet your particular needs.
  • Contingent Fees if the merits and nature of your case warrant.
  • Part hourly/part contingent fees.
  • Enforce provisions to make your opponent pay your fees.
  • Fixed Fees.
  • Retainers.
  • Cooperate with corporate legal department policies.
  • There is generally no charge to a new client for an initial one-hour consultation.
  • Second opinions on the handling of your case can be rendered on favorable terms, in some cases, at no charge.

We work with you to keep your fees to a minimum by designing a strategy that gets the maximum result. We work diligently to promote a favorable settlement with the least expenditure of time.

We have successfully represented a large variety of clients. The successful outcome of any given case, which is always dependent upon its specific facts, can never be guaranteed.

In some matters, when we negotiate some or all of the attorney fees on a contingency basis, the client may be held responsible for advanced costs.  

Some of the advanced costs (including, but not limited to)

  • Deposition fees, filing fees, witness fees, etc. when there is no recovery.