What is Special Needs Law?

Although there is no uniform definition of “special needs,” the phrase describes individuals with a wide variety of physical or mental conditions who may require legal support. That support may mean they need protection from ne’er-do-wells who would take advantage, it may mean they need access to public benefits, or any number of other types of assistance. Frequently, parents and grandparents are concerned about how their children and grandchildren will be cared for after the parent’s or grandparent’s death and will want to plan in advance to protect their special needs loved one.

There is no one-size-fits-all way of planning for individuals with special needs. It requires consideration of the child’s strengths and weaknesses, his or her abilities and inabilities including whether decision-making support is necessary. The goal is to enhance the child’s well-being, giving him or her the best chance for a normal, independent life. Because every child is different, every special needs plan will be different as you plan for him or her and those who will assist your child.

The Special Needs Alliance is a peer reviewed group of attorneys who serve the special needs community. They describe special needs law as follows:

  • Special Needs Trusts and Wills. Special needs law attorneys are experienced drafters of special needs trusts (SNTs) and wills for individuals with special needs. Their understanding of this discipline will help to provide long-term financial security and a responsible disbursement of assets through the drafting of wills.
  • Medicaid, SSI and Entitlement Program Eligibility. Personal injury awards and structured settlements may compromise an individual’s ability to access public benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Plaintiff attorneys can partner with a Special needs law attorney to discuss ways to protect those benefits for their clients.
  • Estate, Trust and Tax Planning for Individuals with Disabilities and their Families. Many Special needs law attorneys are also tax professionals who can bring their understanding of law and accounting to clients in need. You can work with a Special needs law attorney to best determine how to maximize deductions without compromising estates and trusts.
  • Financial Planning and Legal Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities. Special needs law attorneys offer a full suite of financial and legal assistance for individuals with special needs, including drafting demand packages, settlement negotiations, Probate Court appearances and motion filings.
  • Guardianships and Conservatorships. Guardianships, conservatorships, and the many available alternatives are a significant part of our members’ practices. Special needs law attorneys are adept at establishing, defending, and administering a guardianship or conservatorship whenever necessary to meet the needs of a family member who is elderly or has a disability.
  • Assistance with Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice Settlements. With a dedication to disability and public benefits law, as well as strong relationships with financial institutions, Special needs law attorneys are well equipped to assist personal injury attorneys in matters involving individuals with special needs.
  • Trust and Estate Distributions and Fiduciary Accountings. Special needs law attorneys understand the complexities involved in distributing trust and estate monies. Their knowledge of tax regulations ensures that funds and fund transfers are handled properly.
  • Estate and Trust Administration. Since Special needs law attorneys are familiar with the unique daily issues faced by individuals with disabilities, they are well equipped to act as third-party administrators for an estate or trust. Their insights can offer peace of mind to families and caregivers.
  • Health Care Decisions and Advance Directives. Special needs law attorneys frequently confront the issue of personal control of health care decision-making as it pertains to clients who are elderly or have a disability. They are familiar with the issues and problems facing these clients as they plan for their long-term health care.

A Nationwide Network of Special Needs Attorneys

EZ Elder Law’s goal is to connect you to experts, so obviously we want you to know about the Special Needs Alliance. The Special Needs Alliance is a nationwide network of attorneys. It is an invitation-only, peer-reviewed group, whose members specialize in assisting individuals with special needs.

At EZ Elder Law, our goal is to answer your questions about all of these issues. We’re just getting started, so give us time. In the meantime, if you have questions, send them to websupport@ezelderlaw.com.

Resources:

Special Needs Posts

Elder Law and Special Needs Law News Roundup – 6-24-2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that related to Elder Law and Special Needs Law. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Some cited resources are for professionals, but most are news or other helpful articles […]

Elder Law and Special Needs Law News Roundup – 6-17-2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that related to Elder Law and Special Needs Law. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Some cited resources are for professionals, but most are news or other helpful articles […]

Elle

Elder Law and Special Needs Law News Roundup – 6-10-2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that related to Elder Law and Special Needs Law. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Some cited resources are for professionals, but most are news or other helpful articles […]

Gibbs, Ali and Elle

Elder Law and Special Needs Law News Roundup – 6-3-2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that related to Elder Law and Special Needs Law. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Some cited resources are for professionals, but most are news or other helpful articles […]

Ali

Elder Law and Special Needs Law News Roundup – 5-13-2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that related to Elder Law and Special Needs Law. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Some cited resources are for professionals, but most are news or other helpful articles […]

Gibbs

News Roundup – 5-6-2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that might be of interest to our viewers. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Only headlines are listed so you can use this page like a newspaper, reading only […]

Gibbs and Ali

News Roundup – 4/15/2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that might be of interest to our viewers. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Only headlines are listed so you can use this page like a newspaper, reading only […]

Elle

News Roundup – 4/8/2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that might be of interest to our viewers. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Only headlines are listed so you can use this page like a newspaper, reading only […]

Gibbs

News Roundup – 4/1/2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that might be of interest to our viewers. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Only headlines are listed so you can use this page like a newspaper, reading only […]

Gibbs

News Roundup – 3/4/2022

We regularly post links to news articles and other resources that might be of interest to our viewers. We focus on general news, health and healthcare news, special needs news, events, government sources, financial and retirement news and legal news. Only headlines are listed so you can use this page like a newspaper, reading only […]

Start Here

Enter your name and email address to keep up with what’s new at EZ Elder Law!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

[Return to Top]