A native of Los Angeles, David resides in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, two daughters, and a menagerie which includes two dogs and “Lucky” the bird. In setting the course for his professional career, David knew he wanted to do work that would result in changing people’s lives for the better. Upon being introduced to Special Needs Planning and how it impacts the lives of families and persons with special needs, he knew he had found his mission in life.
David enjoys the challenge of helping people maximize and protect the benefits they are entitled to and is passionate about helping families to create a secure future for all their loved ones. He is a highly sought after speaker on the many subjects and issues that affect the special needs community and provides comprehensive planning services through his firm, Serenitas Special Needs Planning.
Active in the community, David volunteers his time with The Special Needs Planning Institute (www.SNPInst.org) and with Temple Judea where he is a member of the Board of Trustees. In his free time, David enjoys cooking, gardening, playing guitar and spending time with his family. He holds a B.A. from Tulane University and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University.
Dynamic and heartfelt, David Terk brings personal anecdotes and technical expertise, with an engaging sense of compassion to the sensitive topic of Special Needs Planning. He is available for local, state, regional, national and international speaking events for families and professionals. Please call for information and availability.
● In 1993, established Bart Stevens Special Needs Planning, LLC, the first company in Arizona dedicated exclusively to providing Special Needs Planning Services. In 2007, he formed the Special Needs Planning Institute, a non-profit offering educational seminars.
● Special Needs Planning Author, Educator, Trainer and Consultant
● Arizona Certified Legal Document Preparer (AzCLDP), California Legal Document Assistant (LDA)
● Associate Member Arizona Bar Association and Maricopa County Bar Association
● Past Seminar and Conference Speaker for the Autism Society of America National Conference, Greater Phoenix Autism Society, Los Angeles Autism Society, National Down Syndrome Society and Congress, National Spina Bifida Association, The Arc, the Epilepsy Foundation, World Congress on Disabilities; SARRC (Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center), Crecer Con Amor AZ State Conference; YMCA Law Day; Learning Disabilities Association; and the AZ State University Special Ed Teachers Program
● Speaker to Professional Organizations including: the Arizona College of Estate Planning Attorneys, Arizona Association of Independent Paralegals, the Arizona and Oklahoma Departments of Developmental Disabilities, Certified Financial Planners Association, The Society of Financial Service Professionals of Phoenix, The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and AZ Partners in Policymaking Conference
● Author of the book, “The Beginner’s Guide to Special Needs Planning ©” and the Special Needs Estate Planning brochure for the National Down Syndrome Society.
● Published Articles include The Advocate (The Autism Society of America’s newsletter), Exceptional Parent magazine and Paraplegia News.
● Interviewed by The New York Sunday Times; Mature Outlook Magazine; Kiplinger Reports; The Washington Times; The Chicago Tribune and the Arizona Republic
● Services: Special Needs Trusts and related Legal Documents, Guardianship, Letter of Intent (Information/Care Directive), Government Benefits, Funding Budgetary needs
David Terk at Serenitas is in my corner. That’s the bottom line. He helped create our will, family trust, and special needs trust. But more than that he has guided us through this extremely complicated landscape of disability planning and Social Security benefits. He picks up the phone when I call even off hours. He texts. He checks in. He answers questions and clarifies. Highly recommend David and his group.
David Terk of Serenitas and his associates have provided invaluable assistance to us in our estate planning for our son with special needs. We had two lawyers who created "special needs trusts" that did not do what a special needs trust is supposed to do and could have created many problems. David and his associates created a special needs trust that does what it it supposed to do and provided a wealth of other useful information that we didn't know. Unlike a high-power law firm, you won't receive a $ 100 bill from David for a five minute phone call and an answer to a simple question. We would recommend David and his associates for all of your special needs planning. If you have a special needs trust that was not drawn up by an attorney who is an expert in special needs, we would recommend that you take that trust to David. He and his associates will review it to see if it protects your loved one the way it is supposed to do.
I first met David Terk at an informational seminar he conducted that was sponsored by my one of my son’s service providers. My son is special needs and very high functioning, but I wanted to be sure that he would be protected and provided for should something happen to me or should other unforeseen circumstances occur. David provided swift and professional guidance on a number of topics, including setting up a Special Needs Trust, financial planning for the future, government benefits and so on. If he didn’t know the answer, he did not hesitate to investigate and get back to me with the information I needed. David goes the extra mile to ensure that his clients are well taken care of and that no box goes unchecked, so to speak. And his concern doesn’t stop when the paperwork is delivered. I’ve found that he is always willing to answer a question down the road when one arises. I highly recommend his services to anyone seeking a reliable and knowledgeable resource to help guide them through the maze of assistance for those with disabilities.
David, A follow-up on the Confirmation Letter for Rent. It worked!
I spoke with my contact at the Torrance SSA office and he said there was no need to come in with the letter. Just fax it. I did on December 6th last year. Yesterday I received notice that my son's monthly benefit was increased by $250 to $910 and change per month. Thank you for the letter and the advice. I was skeptical but the effort paid off.
Serenitas Special Needs Planning helped my family plan for the future. It’s not always easy thinking about what will happen when someone you love is no longer with you. David is very kind and understanding. He really took the time to understand our complex family needs.
David Terk at Serenitas was great at helping me and my family through the process of estate planning for the disabled. Ours was one of the most complicated cases they’d had, mainly because we were selling and buying a house at the same time and are a family with many disabled members. But it all came together as painlessly as possible, mainly because these are responsive people who really know their stuff. I felt very at ease with David and knew that he truly cares about his clients. Plus they gave me access to lots of sources of information to help set up our estate planning. I highly recommend this company.
I owe such a debt of gratitude to Bart Stevens. I cannot begin to tell you how much he helped me and my son, Adam, navigate through this most complex process of estate planning, special needs trusts, and the law. When I first arrived at his office for our initial meeting, I felt for the first time in a very long time that my son was going to be ok after my passing. I believe most parents of special needs children worry about what will happen to their daughter or son after they are gone. Because of Bart and his expertise in special needs planning, I no longer worry about Adam. He was knowledgeable, prepared, and answered all of our questions with patience and understanding. I would recommend anyone who has a special needs child to make an appointment with Bart Stevens a priority. I am so thankful that we found him and that he was there to navigate us through the process. Due to his specialization in this field, it was a seamless process. Thank you Bart!
Thanks to David Terk, Serenitas Special Needs Planning Director, I have tackled a huge "to-do" that was victim to endless procrastination. Like most people, I knew I needed an Estate Plan as well as a Special Needs Trust and I had time to develop and finalize one - as long as I "didn't die tomorrow" (as one colleague it put it to me bluntly). David was responsive to my requests, met with me soon after I spoke with him,and together, we established my needs and objectives in planning to protect my assets and the assets of a family member with special needs. David is personable and knowledgeable which are two of the most important character traits I felt were necessary in order for me to have a successful experience in developing and implementing my Estate Plan.
David is a people person and cares about his clients. He engages in a conversation to establish your needs and to help you understand what is needed by answering your questions and guiding you to achieve your goal. Static business language is not what is needed for this job - a reciprocal conversation wherein your questions are addressed and time is given for specifics about your own personal situation is vital. David is great at respecting that Estate planning is not a one-size-fits all task. He has the answers and delivers them with care.
This really is my note of gratitude to David for flawlessly designing and finalizing two Estate Plans and a Special Needs Trust for our family. Thank you, David, beyond words for helping me to check this off of the extremely important "to-do" list!
- Lisa W.
David is a warm and reassuring partner in a sensitive and deeply personal process. He makes the process easy and stress-free and is extremely knowledgeable about his expertise. He is accessible and responsive and provides a strong guiding hand. I sleep better at night knowing things are in order for my son.
- Deborah B.
"We had long been putting off making financial arrangements for our family and our 17yr old son with autism. We are very happy to have found Serenitas Special Needs Planning to help us with our wills, powers of attorney, and trusts. We now have a much firmer plan in place for what will happen when we are no longer able to care for our son. We also have a trusted advisor in David to help us understand and navigate what’s coming our way as our son reaches adulthood. "
- R&K Lunsford