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Special Needs Planning

Overview

We strive to support people with physical or cognitive impairments by establishing and safeguarding their long-term care benefits, while helping their families ensure proper supervision and management of their finances.

We have substantial experience in advising both institutional trust departments and individual clients regarding long-term care issues, with special emphasis on protecting public benefits rights for incapacitated and disabled persons and providing special needs estate planning for Medicaid and disability recipients.

We often work with parents who want to maintain uninterrupted coverage for the care of their special needs child, whether they are a minor or an adult, through estate planning to maintain the child’s eligibility for public benefits programs such as Medicaid. A common and effective pathway for parents in these circumstances is to establish a special needs trust for their child. The trust is designed to provide care beyond what the governmental benefits provide. A properly designed and managed trust of this kind can help to support the needs of the child without threatening their existing public benefits. In these cases, we work with families to create the trust and to identify a trustee to manage the trust for the child’s long-term benefit. We have extensive experience with drafting, funding, managing, and modifying first-party special needs trusts, third-party special needs trusts, and pooled special needs trusts.

We also work with families whose aging loved ones need a guardian or conservator to protect them from financial abuse or impaired judgment, to complete planning that was interrupted by an unexpected illness, or to facilitate their proper admission to or discharge from institutional care settings.

Our Special Needs Planning practice includes:

  • Special needs planning for individuals with disabilities
  • Establishing and modifying special needs trusts
  • Establishing and preserving public benefits to cover long-term care
  • Serving as the professional trustee for special needs trusts
  • Obtaining, removing, or replacing a guardian or a conservator
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