Campbell, Clark & Vienneau

Having been in business since 1990, Campbell & Clark, and now Campbell, Clark & Vienneau, are passionate about serving their clients and the community. Through zealous advocacy and attentive relationships, our attorneys and staff are ready to serve your legal needs. Contact us today for more information.

 Social Security and SSI


DO YOU HAVE A SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY CASE?

What Is SSI?

If you are suffering from a physical or mental condition that is severe enough to keep you from working for a period of 12 months or more, you may qualify for a benefit program for disabled workers known as Social Security Disability.

This program provides you with monthly benefits covered by Social Security. These benefits continue for the duration of your disability, potentially up to and until retirement age if you meet the following requirements:

  1. If you have contributed to Social Security by wage withholding for a specified period of time (usually five of the last 10 years) and you meet the Social Security Administration's definition of "disabled."

  2. You are a disabled widow, widower, or divorced spouse of a Social Security wage earner.

The Social Security Administration's definition of "disability" states you must have a physical or mental impairment that is severe enough to keep you from working full time in any regular paying job for at least 12 months. You may also qualify by having a combination of impairments, for example: a back injury plus depression.

Social Security regulations are "age skewed," meaning the older you are, the more likely you will qualify.

SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is a program that follows the same definition of "disability" as the Social Security Disability program, but provides you with a lower amount of benefits. These benefits are available if you are a lower income and/or lower resource individual.

If you do not qualify for Social Security Disability due to a lack of and/or insufficient work history, you may want to consider applying for the SSI program.

Social Security

Have You Received A Denial From The Social Security Administration?

If you have applied for Social Security Disability or SSI and have been denied, don't give up hope. Statistics show that the Social Security Administration denies over 90% of all initial and reconsideration claims.

Our experienced attorneys will give you a FREE initial consultation and let you know what your options are. Usually, this involves pursuing the denied claim to the next level, which is often an Administrative Law Judge hearing (ALJ hearing for short). It is at this level where the case is considered most fully and carefully, including a “face to face” (although almost always by video teleconference) with the judge. It is at this juncture where it is important to have experienced local representation, on your side, who is familiar with the rules, regulations, and medical proof issues, and well prepared. And again, you won’t pay us anything unless you receive benefits.

Campbell, Clark & Vienneau has successfully represented hundreds of clients in disability claims cases. You can trust our extensive experience and knowledge of the complexities involving Social Security Disability, and our ability to provide you with the legal representation you need. You do not pay us, unless you get your benefits!

Estate Planning


Estate Planning

THE ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEYS YOU NEED

Are you looking for experienced attorneys who can help you handle your estate planning needs, including a possible living trust, with integrated health care and asset management powers? Have you delayed integrated planning but know you need to get it done? Our attorneys Clark and Vienneau focus on estate planning, including living trusts, as well as handling post-death trust administration and probate matters.

We will work with you to understand your particular case and specific legal needs. We will also tailor an estate plan for you and your family, as we have done for hundreds of other families throughout the North State.

We currently specialize in:

  • Wills

  • Trusts

  • Healthcare and asset powers of attorneys

  • Special Needs Trusts

  • Trust administration

  • Amendments to wills or trusts

  • Succession planning

  • Probate

  • Medi-Cal planning

Make Sure Your Assets Are Taken Care Of

A living trust can help you avoid the costs of probate administration. However, trusts must be carefully planned out in order to make sure your beneficiaries receive what you intended to leave them in the event something happens to you.

Campbell, Clark & Vienneau offer the advanced planning, follow-up and guidance that you need, in order to assure that your trust and integrated estate plan reflects your intentions, and that your assets go where you intend them to go. Our highly experienced attorneys can make a full account of all assets in the trust, including those titled and untitled properties.

You can rely on us to guide you through the complex process of creating and administering your trust.

The Legal Help You Need During A Difficult Time

At the Law Offices of Campbell, Clark & Vienneau, we understand that the passing of a loved one can be a very emotional time for you and your family. The last thing you need is a legal problem involving a probate issue if the deceased has not written a will or a trust.

You do not have to face this alone! We assist in probate issues and litigation, as well as provide you with the legal assistance you need to safeguard your family members, by planning for your future. We take pride in properly planning your trust and estate plan. We also help in post-death affairs, including guiding the trustee in the administration of a trust.

Trust and Probate Litigation


Trust Contests and Defense, Will Contests and Defenses, Trustee and Accounting Disputes

Sometimes a dispute develops over the drafting or execution of a will or trust, or its meaning. This dispute is typically called a "contest". Often this focuses on issues such as "incapacity," "undue influence," or "fraud.”

Frequently, there can be an interpretation issue, over the meaning of a phrase in a will or trust, and its effect on the heirs and beneficiaries.

Quite frequently, issues arise over accountings rendered by the executor of a will, or the trustee of the trust, who have a fiduciary duty to render accountings at certain intervals. Some fiduciaries even fail to do such an accounting, or do it incorrectly.

Our office is experienced in litigating these types of probate and trust matters, both in prosecuting them and in defending them. If you are involved in such a dispute, or feel one is imminent, call our office for a free face-to-face consultation.

Trust and Probate Litigation

Campbell, Clark & Vienneau is highly experienced in litigating disputes over a trust or a will. Whether you intend to prosecute a contest, or defend your own contest, our team of attorneys will hear your case without judging you and your family.

If you are currently involved in a dispute or feel that one is coming soon, call our office today for a consultation.

 Special Needs Trusts and Medi-Cal


Special Needs Trusts and Medi-Cal

WE WILL HELP YOU PROTECT YOUR LOVED ONES RIGHTS THROUGH YOUR TRUST

A Special Needs Trust (SNT) is a type of trust that is designed to provide a person with disabilities, assets which would enhance their quality of life, while enabling them to remain eligible for need-based public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medi-Cal.

The beneficiary of the SNT remains eligible for such need-based benefits, due to properly placing non-exempt assets in a Special Needs Trust. These trusts are specially drafted; and when necessary, are also approved by the Superior Court.

There are two types of SNTs, a first party SNT, which is funded with the assets of the person with the disability; and, a third party SNT, which is funded by a third person, typically a parent or grandparent of the disabled person. Many times, a SNT provision can be created in an estate plan; specially, when a child or other potential beneficiary is disabled and receiving need-based benefits such as SSI or Medi-Cal, so as to preserve that eligibility.

Sandra Clark and Margarita Vienneau are experienced in the drafting and formation of Special Need Trusts and can help you safeguard the future of a loved one. Additionally, our office is experienced in the court process involving such trusts.

If you have a situation that calls for such consideration, or have questions about the possibility of a SNT, or incorporating one into your estate plan, call the experts at Campbell, Clark & Vienneau today.


2017 MEDI-CAL RECOVERY CHANGES

There are significant changes to Medi-Cal recovery law for 2017. The most dramatic change is on the recovery of outlays by Medi-Cal after the death of the Medi-Cal recipient. Under the prior law, a Medi-Cal claim was a possibility against a Medi-Cal recipient's assets regardless of the form of the "estate". That is, it would not matter if the asset (say a home) was in a trust, in joint tenancy or in a probate estate. On January 1, 2017 that changed in California under SB 833. Now recovery is limited to those estates that are subject to probate under California law. Thus assets in a properly funded living trust will no longer be subject to the dreaded post-death recovery claim by Medi-Cal.

The same protection is provided for joint tenancy or survivorship, but the protection is not available if both joint tenants or the owner and survivor die in the same occurrence.

Also, once the survivor later dies, the protection would not be available for him or her, since a probate would be required at that point. Thus, leaving a properly funded Living Trust becomes the surest form of asset protection against a Medi-Cal claim.

For those on the fence about having a Living Trust done as an estate plan, the importance of doing so has never been more pronounced, in terms of protecting your assets, primarily your home, from Medi-Cal recovery should you or your spouse incur long term care.

Sandra Clark and Margarita Vienneau, our skilled attorneys at Campbell, Clark & Vienneau, are experienced estate planners and can help you get your estate plan in order, including drafting and funding a Living Trust.

Conservatorship


Different Types & Benefits of Conservatorship

(Court supervised protective proceedings for Individuals)

The Law Offices of Campbell, Clark & Vienneau have been helping individuals like you make decisions concerning conservatorship since 1990. Our attorneys Sandra Clark and Margarita Vienneau focus on the legal areas concerning conservatorship, and have over 30 years of combined experience in this field. Call our firm today if you have concerns about a loved one and feel that a conservatorship is the right choice for you and your family.

Our team will hear your case and work with you on a personal level to help you make the right decision for your loved one. Call today if you have concerns about a loved one losing capacity or being unable to handle their personal or financial affairs.

There are different types of legal conservatorship, each with its own benefits. Knowing the differences between them is very important for your case:

1. Conservatorship of the Person:

A court will order a conservatorship if your loved one's health is at risk because they cannot obtain their own food, shelter, or other basic needs. Benefits of a Conservatorship of the Person include:

  • Provides assistance for your loved one if their health is as risk but they refuse or are unable to obtain help.

  • Allows you to obtain medical information and communicate with your loved one's healthcare professionals.

  • Allows you to have legal authority to make basic personal and healthcare decisions.

Conservatorship

2. Conservatorship of the Estate:

A Conservatorship of the Estate is an order to protect the finances of your loved one if they cannot competently handle their own debts and income, or cannot resist undue financial pressure from others. This gives you the legal authority to make good financial decisions for the protected person and to sign checks and other financial documents on their behalf.

3. Limited Conservatorship:

(Typically for a developmentally disabled adult)

A Limited Conservatorship authorizes the conservator to be responsible for part of a developmentally disabled adult's life, including maintaining their finances. Limited Conservatorships are ordered by the court. The disabled adult will generally retain all of their rights, and the conservator is legally required to seek treatment services and opportunities to help the disabled become as independent as possible.