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Special Needs & Elder Law

Valerie_KP1_6247-Edit-200x300 Special Needs & Elder Law Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyValerie A. Powers Smith handles special needs and elder law matters for the firm. SBEMP’s Special Needs & Elder Law practice group provides representation and advocacy for individuals and families with special needs due to disability or age, providing a broad range of services, including; but, not limited to the following:

  • Special needs trusts (SNT)
    • A First Party or Self-Settled (a.k.a., d(4)(A)) SNT is funded with the assets of the individual with special needs, which typically come from settlement funds derived from a medical malpractice or personal injury lawsuit or assets the individual with the disability has accumulated or inherited. The purpose of creating such an SNT is to preserve current and future eligibility for means-tested governmental programs for the individual with the disability.
    • A Third Party SNT is funded with the assets of family and friends (a.k.a., third parties) for the benefit of an individual with special needs.
  • Guardianships & Conservatorships
    • A Guardianship or Conservatorship of the Person grants powers to the guardian over the incapacitated individual to make decisions regarding everyday matters such as medical care, residency and living arrangements, education, employment, and recreational activities.
    • A Guardianship or Conservatorship of the Estate or Property grants powers to the guardian to exercise decision making with regard to the incapacitated individual’s finances.
  • Trust, guardianship, and conservatorship accountings
  • Access to federal and state disability based programs
  • Medicaid planning
  • Medicaid, Medicare, and private health insurance coverage
  • Special Education


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Palm Springs
1800 East Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Orange County
650 Town Center Drive, Ste. 1400
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
San Diego
2240 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
103 Carnegie Center Blvd., Ste. 101
Princeton, NJ 08540
New York
405 Lexington Avenue, 26th Floor
New York, New York