19200 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 400 •  Irvine, CA 92612  •  (949) 891-0091
3655 Torrance Blvd., Ste. 300  •  Torrance, CA 90503  •  (310) 377-7283

We can make Estate Planning simple.

  • Quality service at a price the average person can afford
  • Dedicated to meeting the needs of my clients
  • Focused on solutions
  • Build a lasting relationship with you and your family

Special Needs

Special Needs Attorney 

As the parent of a child with Special Needs, Attorney Patricia C. Van Haren understands the unique needs of parents of special needs children. 

Do you have a need for a conservatorship, guardianship or have a special needs individual who can no longer manage their own affairs?

Do you need help in making sure that your loved one is taken care of financially after your are no longer able to be here  to care for them?

Let us help, we treat our clients as family - making sure to protect their interests, secure their legal rights, educate you to make sound decisions and provide recommendations based on the particular needs to meet the entire family’s goals.

How To Care For Children With Special Needs Through Estate Planning

For many people, the basics of estate planning are simple enough, but for those families with loved ones who are disabled or have special needs, the estate planning process is more involved – and definitely more critical.

The latest statistics show that five percent of minor children have some sort of disability, and the burden of caring for these children make estate planning essential.  In addition to specialized health care, these children usually need special schooling and intensive therapy, all of which comes at a cost. 

Here are some tips for parents facing the need to plan not only for their own financial future, but for that of a special needs child:

Deal with expectations.  Parents need to think about the kind of life they envision for their child.  Will the child have a shorter life span?  Will he or she be able to work or live independently?  The answers to these questions will form the foundation of your plan.

Determine eligibility for public benefits.  In order to meet eligibility requirements for Medicaid and Social Security Supplemental Income programs, a person with special needs or other disabilities cannot have more than $2,000 in assets.  This makes it imperative that a child who could benefit from these services not have any assets titled in his or her own name – meaning they should not be listed as beneficiaries on life insurance policies, retirement accounts or plans, in trusts, wills or pensions. 

Consider a special needs trust.  Assets placed in a third-party special needs trust are not counted as assets toward public benefit program eligibility, but these trusts are governed by strict rules so the counsel of a Personal Family Lawyer in establishing this trust is necessary.  Parents who are unable to fund a special needs trust with cash while they are still alive can do so through life insurance proceeds after they die.

Child Support for Adult Disabled Children

If you have an existing child support order from a family law court, there is likely a clause that the child support will terminate at the time that the minor reaches the age of 18 (or 19 and a full time high school student).

There are times where a parent needs continued support as the child is not functioning at a level commensurate with their peers.  Our office can evaluate the needs of your child and assist you in getting adult disabled child support for your adult disabled child.  This action must be brought  into court around  the time that your child turns 18. We can assist you in making sure that there is no lapse in support that you may be entitled to. 

Our office has assisted several families in obtaining orders which will enable the custodial parent to continue to receive support for their adult disabled child. 

Free Guide for Parents of Special Needs Children and Young Adults 

Contact us at pcv@pcvlawyer.com to get our Special Needs Freedom Guide you’ll discover how to take charge of your child’s future and build a fortress of protection that will last a lifetime.

With this guide, you’ll learn why preparing for your child’s future is so important (and how to make it as easy as possible for you to do so).

As a parent, you have the responsibility for making sure that your child’s future is well planned for, even after you are no longer here. As a parent myself, I know how difficult it can be to make sure all the little details have been thought of, so I’ve created this guide to make it as easy for you as possible.

In this guide, you’ll discover:

1.       The 10 Steps You Must Take to Plan for the Future Care of Your Child with Special Needs the Right Way.

2.       How to Take Charge of Your Child’s Future and Build a Fortress of Protection around Your Child that Will Last a Lifetime.

3.      How to set up a Special Needs Trust that Protects Your Child’s Eligibility for Essential Governmental Benefits.

4.     When and Whether to Become the Guardian or Conservator of your Adult Child with Special Needs.

5.       How to Plan for and Secure Government Benefits for Your Child.

6·       How to Ensure Your Kids (& Spouse) Are Prepared For Life Without You In Case Something Happens To You.

The Special Needs Freedom Guide walks you through everything you need to know for the absolute peace of mind of knowing that no matter what happens, your child’s future will be secure and your child will be well loved and cared for. 


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About Our Firm

My practice is family law and estate planning. I work with families with young children, children with special needs and families that are seeking guidance and care for a disabled relative. I seek to provide my clients with superior service.

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