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Special Needs Planning

Special Needs Planning Experienced Attorney

When a family knows that they are planning for the future of a child or adult with a disability, it is even more important to consider the effect of inheritance. Without proper planning, even a small inheritance can cause a loss of benefits on which they have come to rely. In such cases, there are options that allow for multiple family members to make gifts without disrupting needed benefits. We are knowledgeable in special needs planning and can help you develop a plan that will maintain required support for a family member or loved one with a disability.

Special or Supplemental Needs Trusts

The two main types of special needs trusts are known as a Third Party Special Needs Trust or a First Party Special Needs Trust. The main difference between the two is that the Third Party Trust is created and funded with assets that do not and never did belong to the primary and initial beneficiary. A First Party Special needs trust is funded with the beneficiary’s assets. Both trusts are used to shield the assets from counting as a resource and as income (generated in the trust) for purposes of qualifying for government benefits, such as Medicaid. Special needs trusts are also beneficial for protecting the assets for the benefit of the beneficiary.

Trusts Created for Support and Self-Advocacy

We pride ourselves in thinking outside of the box for tools and solutions for individuals that need assistance, but do not need the same restrictions that apply with respect to Third Party and First Party Special Needs Trusts. We have customized numerous trusts that are not built for the purpose of qualifying for government benefits, but rather, they are built for the purposes of allowing the beneficiary access to their own funds with mechanisms in place to allow guidance from a trusted confidant to assist with managing the funds and to protect them from others looking to take advantage of them.


When your child or loved one turns 18 years old, the law will consider him or her an adult. However, as a special needs individual, he or she may still need to be in your care. By establishing a guardianship or guardian advocacy, you will ensure that you can continue to make important decisions on behalf of your child or loved one. That being said, it is our goal to always utilize the least restrictive alternative for your child or loved one. This means we will recommend guardian advocacy over a standard guardianship, or healthcare and financial powers of attorney over either where appropriate.

Client Reviews
Matt helped me resolve my case and was very efficient. I would recommend him to everyone. He made dealing with my case easy and understandable. Anonymous
The team at The Estate Plan was very knowledgeable in resolving my family’s probate case. Matt’s personalized approach was very helpful in my family’s time of need. Matt took the time to explain every process to us and made sure that we understood every action that was taken. Overall, our experience with The Estate Plan and Matthew Gruber was wonderful. Anonymous
Matthew Gruber was very professional. My matter was expertly taken care of and I recommend Matthew and his team for any estate planning needs. Anonymous