Estate Planning: Protecting Those Who Need a Little Extra Care

March 11, 2022

When searching for an estate planning lawyer, many people overlook the vast realm of services this person may assist with. From wills to asset protection, a qualified estate lawyer can also help protect your family for immediate needs.


At Feniger & Uliasz, our team is here to help ensure your family has the protection it may require.


Sometimes, a little extra TLC is required.

A special needs trust is also known as a supplemental needs trust. This type of trust is an essential tool, ensuring loved ones with either mental or physical disabilities are protected and cared for – without disqualifying them from their essential means-tested government benefits.

Benefits may include:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI),
  • Medicaid,
  • Food stamps,
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or
  • Housing Subsidy Programs. 


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Going beyond necessities.

Government benefits programs can be crucial in ensuring the continued care and support that your loved ones need. However, these programs often provide only for the basic necessities. Further, the asset limitations to qualify for such benefits may limit the individual from enjoying a richer quality of life.

If a person receives benefits through such needs-based programs, an unexpected influx of assets, such as an inheritance, can cause a loss of benefits. Until the assets are spent down, your loved one may not qualify for benefits again. 


Benefits of talking with an estate planning lawyer.

A special needs trust is a means to ensure that persons receiving such government benefits can continue having access while providing financial support to supplement their care and preserve their quality of life. However, while establishing such a trust can help ensure quality of life and provide peace of mind, it can be a bumpy road. 

One common problem with special needs trusts is that the beneficiary can disagree with the need for one. Assets held in a properly drafted special needs trust are not in the hands of the disabled individual (the beneficiary). Instead, the acting trustee, has the discretion to distribute assets to supplement beneficiary’s needs. This lack of control can be a bitter pill to swallow for an individual receiving public benefits but otherwise is generally capable of handling their finances and seeking independence in their life. In addition, while the trustee must act in the beneficiary’s best interests, that may mean different things to the trustee and the beneficiary. 


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Contact Feniger & Uliasz – The number one estate planning lawyer in Manchester, NH

While a special needs trust may be the best option for the beneficiary, understanding all of the limitations and restrictions is crucial. In addition, it is essential to work with an attorney who knows how to draft such a trust properly and understands the difficulties that can arise. 

At Feniger and Uliasz, we have experience preparing special needs trusts and all that comes with it. Our professionals work with beneficiaries and trustees to ensure all parties understand the trust’s goals while maximizing the benefits that such a trust can provide. 


Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.