Special Needs Planning: Having the Right Legal Tools

Special Needs Planning helps maintain benefits eligibility, and assures that your family member will continue to have the support network and care they need when you are no longer able to be the advocate you are today. This presentation will cover essential legal and financial tools parents and caregivers can use to promote the well-being, happiness, stability, and longevity of those with disabilities (such as bipolar disorder). The presentation will discuss Special Needs Trusts that enhance and supplement support, while still allowing the individual to be eligible for crucial public benefits such as Medi-Cal and Supplemental Security Income. The uses and limitations of the new ABLE Act will also be reviewed. We will examine conservatorships and alternative tools for the parent or caregiver to continue to make important health care, education, and financial decisions for their special needs family member beyond the age of eighteen. This presentation is sure to leave attendees with a better understanding of how family special needs legal planning can help ensure the care, success, and prosperity of your family member, and ease the burden of their providers.

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Philip P. Lindsley is a widely recognized elder and special needs law attorney. Mr. Lindsley founded the San Diego Elder/Special Needs Law Center in 1997. His practice is limited to Medi-Cal and public benefits planning, special needs planning, “Life Care” planning, asset protection, probate and trust administration, and conservatorships and their alternatives. For more information visit www.sandiegoelderlaw.com.

Mr. Lindsley has been designated a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), a legal specialization accredited by the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association. Mr. Lindsley is also a State Bar of California Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, and an Accredited Veterans Administration Attorney. He is rated “AV-Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubble peer review.

Phil Lindsley is a native San Diegan, and has been practicing law in San Diego County since 1980. He performed his undergraduate and graduate work in Psychology at San Diego State University, and received his law degree in 1980 from University of San Diego School of Law. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, having taught primarily in the area of Conservatorship and Mental Health Law.

Mr. Lindsley is the Past Chair (2008-2010) of the Elder Law Section of the San Diego Bar Association, and a member of the San Diego County Probate Court Bench-Bar Committee. He is a member of the Trust, Probate and Estate Planning sections of the San Diego and California Bar Associations. He is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), and the Academy of Special Needs Planners and the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association (LCPLFA). He is on the Board of Directors of the Special Needs Trust Foundation of San Diego; a qualified non-profit pooled special needs trust. He is past floor leader of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Probate and Estate Planning section of the California Conference of Delegates, and served three terms as a Commissioner of the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission (JNE) of the State Bar of California. He is currently a Pro Tem Judge for the Central Division of the Probate Court of the Superior Court of San Diego.


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