The Achieving Independence System"> The Achieving Independence System

The Achieving Independence System

 Special Needs Trust 4 Step System


The Achieving Independence System is a process developed by the Dale Law Firm, PC to educate our clients on the issues and decisions that they must deal with in providing for their loved ones with disabilities, where reliable asset management and public benefits are essential.  Explore our materials and videos to learn more.

Would you like to own your own copy of the Achieving Independence Book? This resource is invaluable in helping you to understand the process of creating a Special Needs Trust, as well as helping you to define the individual needs that your Special Needs Trust must serve.

The Achieving Independence Approach for Special Needs Estate Planning Book, authored by Stephen W. Dale, Esq., LL.M, is now available in print version. It will serve as a guide for persons with disabilities and their families, providing information on how to design a plan for a person with a disability. The Achieving Independence Approach focuses on more than just preservation of public benefits, it includes advocacy and quality of life.

Final Cover Achieving Independence

    Chapters Include:

Telling My Story
The Half Kept Promise
Public Benefits
SNT Basics
Types of SNTs
The Ideal Trustee
Funding the Trust
Keeping Your SNT Up To Date

This invaluable resource can be used to help you understand the process of creating a special needs trust, as well and help you to define the exact needs of your trust, allowing Dale Law Firm, or your attorney to create a Special Needs Trust that will fit your individualized needs.

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Steve Dale's Independence Journal

An online magazine for the support of
individuals with disabilities, their families,
and the Professionals that serve them


By Stephen W. Dale, Esq. Elections are in the air, as hopefuls position themselves for local, state and federal office. Given the budget pressure on public benefits and services, the stakes couldn't be higher for individuals with special needs, and it's important that they make their voices heard. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has declared that member states “shall undertake to ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others…including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected.” Here in [...]
Wed, May 20, 2015, Continue reading at the source
I'm sure you have heard all the talk, seen all the social media posts asking for a 10% increase and to Keep the Promise! We've heard the system is in crisis and we are about to lose our entitlement. But what does that really mean and why are we in a crisis now? Haven't we always been in a crisis? Hasn't the Lanterman Act been historically underfunded? If there is a budget surplus, doesn't that mean that there won't be any more cuts and we can sustain? This is a crisis that has [...]
Tue, May 19, 2015, Continue reading at the source
Monday, March 3rd, 2014 in Sacramento, California For More Information go to Or call (916) 552-6619 My wife Terri and I have a law practice focused on improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities and their families. Many of our clients create what are called special needs trusts which are trusts specifically focused on enhancing the lives of persons with disabilities by preserving qualification for essential public benefits and supplementing those needs to provide services and opportunities that the rest of us take for granted. Over the past two decades we have learned by experience the value of professional management [...]
Mon, Jan 27, 2014, Continue reading at the source
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A Life Worthwhile Stephen W. Dale, Esq., LL.M. , The Dale Law Firm, PC Pacheco, CA This is October which for me is a special time. Mid October is the Stetson Law School Annual Special Needs Trust Conferences, an event where all the top special needs trust practitioners come together to share with their colleagues their views about what this year's challenges are going to be and how best to address the challenges that our clients with disabilities and their families will have to address. It is a time to ponder how we can assist not only our clients but also our communities [...]
Fri, Nov 08, 2013, Continue reading at the source
Are Good Intentions Enough? In 1963, President Kennedy called for Congress to replace institutions with comprehensive community programs that would provide outpatient care, day treatment, rehabilitation, foster care services, and public education with mental health and related services. Congress responded to President Kennedy's challenge by creating a commission that in turn recommended that communities take greater responsibility for the treatment of persons in institutions with locally-based programs. Because of the refocusing of services, the population in state mental hospitals from 1956 to 1980 fell by three quarters. The Joint Commission also recommended a ten-fold increase in spending on community mental health [...]
Sat, Aug 10, 2013, Continue reading at the source
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