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Special Needs

Special Needs Trusts

Special Needs Trusts

Question:  I have two daughters, one of them has special needs and receives benefits.  I have been told that I have to disinherit them from my will so that if something happens to me they won’t lose these benefits, is that true?   Answer:  No, it is not correct that you must disinherit your daughter. However, it is important when drafting your will or other estate planning documents to make certain provisions so that, at the time of your passing, any inheritance will more »



Q: If my mother becomes ill and unable to take care of her own affairs, how can I make sure my mom is properly taken care of and her bills are paid?  Will I need to become her guardian?   A: A Guardianship is a type of court proceeding in which one can be appointed to have certain powers over an incapacitated person with regard to their personal needs and/or property management.  However, a guardianship proceeding is not always required when a loved one requires assistance.  more »

First Party Supplemental Needs Trusts

First Party Supplemental Needs Trusts

Q: I am 50 years old and a recent injury has left me in a wheel chair permanently.  I need help with certain daily tasks such as bathing and getting dressed.  I am not working but I am receiving payments from my disability insurance.  I know community Medicaid will pay for my care if I qualify but I am afraid I have too much income, will they take my disability payments?   A: Since you are under 65 years old, you can create a first party supplemental needs trust to hold the more »


In December 2014 the federal government passed a law known as the ABLE Act.  This law allows family members of a disabled person to create an account that is exempt from federal income tax to be used for certain “qualified expenses” related to the person’s disability.  This Act is created under the same provisions of the tax code as 529 plans for college savings although they have different rules governing the plans.  Unlike the college savings plans, the be more »

Supplemental Need Trusts and Supplemental Security Income

Q: My son has developmental disabilities and, as a result, is unable to make enough money to support himself.  He only has a savings account with $25,000 in it; is there any government assistance available for him to receive some income? A: With the proper planning, your son will be able to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”).  Monthly SSI payments can be available to provide income to aged, blind and disabled persons who have little or no other income.&nb more »

Supplemental Needs Trust for Disabled Child

Question:  I have three sons and one is disabled.  Should my Will leave everything to my other two sons so that my disabled son does not lose his government benefits when he receives an inheritance?  I am sure my other two sons will always take care of him. Answer:  There is no reason to disinherit your disabled child.  Chances are that your disabled son will certainly need the inheritance when you die. You should provide for that son in your Will.  Even if you more »

Article 17A Guardianship

Question:  My daughter is 18 years old and is developmentally disabled.  She is unable to make medical decisions for herself and cannot handle her own finances.  A social worker suggested that I apply for an Article 17A Guardianship.  What is an Article 17A Guardianship and is this advisable? Answer: When your daughter turned 18, she reached the “age of majority”. Once an individual reaches the age of majority, they are both legally permitted and solely respons more »

Planning for a Family Member with Special Needs

Planning for a Family Member with Special Needs Caring for a loved one with special needs during your life may be one of the most important jobs you have, but many do not realize the importance of planning for that same person for after you are gone. Since so many disabled individuals receive some kind of government benefits, it is imperative to ensure that these benefits continue, even if they receive an inheritance. This protection can be ensured by creating a Supplemental Needs Trust or Sp more »

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