What is Special Needs Law?

The Special Needs Alliance describes 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.

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 nation-wide network of attorneys. It is invitation-only, peer reviewed group, who’s 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

Combating Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Suicide Risk

On September 1, 2021, the Administration for Community LIving posted a guest blog titled “BE WITH: Combating Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Suicide Risk. The blog post describes “how one project is helping build capacity within the aging network to help address social isolation and loneliness and prevent suicide amongst older adults.” Contributors include Laura Shannonhouse, […]

News Round-up – August 17, 2021

National Institutes of Health: The Amazing Brain: A Sharper Image of the Pyramidal Tract Administration for Community Living: DOL announced an alliance with AAAED to promote people with disabilities in the national organization’s workplace equity efforts Webinars from National Paralysis Center Volunteer and Advocacy Opportunities, Wednesday, August 18 Virtual Support Groups, August 26th National Consumer […]

Can a Probate Court Order Visitation in a Guardianship Case?

In In re Estate of Wertzer, 330 Ga. App. 294 (2014), the primary issue was whether the probate court had the authority to enter an order establishing a visitation schedule with the father, over the objection of the mother, who had been appointed Sierra Wetzer’s guardian and conservator. The Court held that the probate court […]

News Roundup, 7-29-2021

National Institutes of Health (NIH): Tips to Make Mealtimes Easier for People with Alzheimer’s Decoding Heart-Brain Talk to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Deaths Researchers identify a cellular defect common to familial and sporadic forms of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Device allows paralyzed man to communicate with words Scientists uncover how decisions about what we see are […]

News Roundup, July 19, 2021

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced: Reports shows that words matter. Language can reduce mental health and additional stigman. “In a perspective published in Neuropsychopharmacology, leaders from the National Institutes of Health address how using appropriate language to describe mental illness and addiction can help to reduce stigma and improve how people with these […]

News Roundup – June 12, 2021

Frontline posted a new podcast regarding a race-related murder in Chicago in 1955. That murder resulted in a bill named for the victim that would wind up in the halls of Congress. It was aimed at bringing justice to unsolved killings from the civil rights era. Around the same time, the Department of Justice and […]

News Roundup 6-9-2021

New Interactive Tool Provides Social Determinants of Health Data on Internet Access A new online data visualization tool from AHRQ gives analysts access to social determinants of health (SDOH) data related to people’s access to the internet. Internet access is essential for obtaining home-based telemedicine and is increasingly important for healthcare needs such as making […]

Webinar on Developmental Promotion, Early Detection, Referral, and Linkage to Services, June 16, 2021

Webinar on Developmental Promotion, Early Detection, Referral, and Linkage to Services Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30 PM ET Webinar Registration The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance presents this webinar on increasing access to developmental screenings for children and families. The early childhood community has an opportunity to work together to build […]

Recent Round Up – Week of May 24, 2021

Administration for Community Living releases 2020 Profile of Older Americans. The Profile of Older Americans is an annual summary of critical statistics related to the older population in the United States. Relying primarily on data offered by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Profile illustrates the shifting demographics of Americans age 65 and older. It includes […]

Special Needs Roundtable

On July 29, 2016, the Elder Law Practice of David L. McGuffey hosted a Special Needs Roundtable in Dalton, Georgia. Our Key Note speaker was Hal Wright, author of the Complete Guide to Creating a Special Needs Life Plan: A Comprehensive Approach Integrating Life, Resource, Financial, and Legal Planning to Ensure a Brighter Future for […]

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