Cole Schotz P.C.


Special Needs Estate Planning


If a special needs child receives assets from other friends or family members or if parents intend to gift to the child during their lifetimes, then the parents should create a stand alone inter vivos trust that can be the recipient of all of these assets, instead of relying on a trust created in a will.

Estate planning is essential for any parent, but takes on additional significance for the parent of a child with special needs.  In addressing the plan, a parent should make sure he or she is being counseled by an attorney with experience handling the sensitive issues involving a specials needs child. We have substantial knowledge and experience representing the family of a special needs child. 

This is a unique area which requires special expertise.  Cole Schotz attorneys have experience preparing trusts to be the recipient of assets to be dedicated, by gift or inheritance, to a disabled or incapacitated individual.  This planning is essential to ensure that the individual's ability to receive governmental benefits is protected.  In addition, we have experience in preparing first party special needs trusts which are designed to hold the assets of the special needs person which are held in his or her name, often as a result of the settlement of a lawsuit.  We have also represented many families petitioning for full or limited guardianship of an adult special needs child.

Planning we can provide includes:

  • Preparation of appropriate wills, including special needs trusts
  • Preparation of special needs trusts for contributions from third parties
  • Preparation of first party special needs trusts
  • Guardianship actions
  • Preparation of powers of attorney and health care proxies
  • Assistance in preparing letters of intent

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