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Special Needs Planning

For parents of children with special needs, estate planning can seem like an overwhelming task.  Who will take care of our child in the coming years? Where will my child live? How can I preserve my child’s benefits? These are some of the many questions that run through the minds of parents of children with special needs.  With numerous regulations and programs to consider, parents should not feel alone if they have put off this important task for “another day”.

Estate planning in the special needs arena is best defined as the creation of a comprehensive “set of instructions”.  If you, as the primary caregiver, should pass away or become ill, you will want to have a detailed set of instructions in place for those individuals who will care for your child.  This “set of instructions” is your estate plan and the “individuals” who will care for your child are the Trustees and the Guardian.

The attorneys at Knudsen, Burbridge & Manchur are deeply committed to advising families of individuals with disabilities, working closely with these families by:

  • Establishing “Third Party” Supplemental Needs that will receive a portion of the parent’s assets at their passing in order to preserve any government benefits that the child is receiving
  • Working with parents to select appropriate Trustees and to define the terms of the Trust so as to provide a proper and effective management mechanism for the child
  • Preserving Government benefits even in situations where well-meaning family members leave money outright to a child with special needs, otherwise disqualifying them for services
  • Creating Supplemental Needs Trusts that extended family members can contribute to during their lifetime or at their passing
  • Assisting families in obtaining Guardianships and Conservatorships when their child reaches age 18 (the age of majority in Massachusetts)

The following is a list of the various supplemental needs trust that we employ for our clients:

  • Third Party Supplemental or Special Needs Trusts
  • Self-Settled Supplemental Needs Trusts, often referred to as Pay-Back Trusts or (d)(4)(A) Trusts
  • Pooled Supplemental Needs Trusts, i.e. (d)(4)(C) Trusts
  • Sole Benefit Trusts

Visit Planning Guides under About to  download our document, Special Needs Planning.