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Elder Law | Special Needs

Elder Law and Special Needs

Our firm has attorneys who are trained to advise clients regarding how to obtain public benefits, including Medicaid. Our law firm applies various legal techniques to protect families from losing their life savings to pay for long-term care.  We advise our clients regarding the most appropriate long-term living arrangements for their particular situation and assist with facility placement.

Our firm is best known for our extraordinary personalized service. Our firm will develop a tailor-made plan for clients and their families as loved ones age.  We focus on the best use and management of personal and financial resources to meet their long-term objectives.  This includes exploring all home-based care options as a first priority when appropriate and easing transitions in the event a facility placement is required.

Planning for Long Term Care

Unfortunately, many older Americans will either be medically ineligible for long-term care insurance or unable to afford the premiums. In that event, more aggressive planning should be considered as early as possible to make sure life savings are not depleted as a result of having to pay out-of-pocket for care. With the help of an elder law attorney, a plan can be created that will protect much of the assets of an individual or couple that would otherwise be at risk of being depleted.

Our Firm can assist individuals in creating a plan that will prevent the loss of one’s life savings to private health care costs. Often these plans involve the use of trusts (both revocable and irrevocable), powers of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions, and other important legal documents.

Special Needs Planning

Attorney Jeffrey Edwards understands the need for special needs planning as he is the parent of a special needs child, and is one of the co-founders of the Non-Profit Developmental Wings, which provides free services for those with special needs.  Maintaining eligibility for public benefits for those with special needs requires special planning.  Our firm can assist in setting up Special Needs Trusts for the benefit of a person with a disability.

Special Needs Trusts are also known as Supplemental Needs Trusts or Supplemental Benefits Trusts.  Special needs or disabled persons are often receiving benefits for medical coverage and shelter expenses through public benefits.  This may be through the Social Security Administration or through Medicaid.  The key to the Special Needs Trust is to make sure that it supplements the beneficiary’s needs rather than “supplant” or displace public benefits.  This means that the funds in trust cannot be used for the same items for which the special needs person is receiving public benefits.  The Special Needs Trust contains language stating that funds are only to be used to supplement expenses and are not to be used for anything for which the person is currently receiving public benefits (so as not to displace the public benefits), and the trustee must follow those terms strictly.

There are different types of Special Needs Trusts.  The two most utilized are the Self-Settled Special Needs Trust and the Third Party Special Needs Trust, which are both versions of irrevocable trusts.

Contact us today for an appointment to start your planning needs!

Powers of Attorney

Anyone can become incapacitated at any time. Consulting with a lawyer about the different types of powers of attorney and advanced planning will help protect you in that situation. To find out more:

Irrevocable Trusts

An irrevocable trust can help protect your assets for the future. However, there can be pitfalls when placing assets into a trust which is not revocable. To find out if an irrevocable trust is right for you:

Special Needs Trusts

What is the purpose of a Supplemental Needs Trust? To balance the eligibility of a person receiving benefits from government programs while keeping other family resources protected. To find out more:

Nursing Home Planning

There is a lot to plan and prepare for when considering your future long-term care needs, including being prepared for potentially entering a nursing home. It’s a complicated process and each person’s situation is different. To find out how you can prepare:

Medicaid Asset Protection

If you’re considering Medicaid to assist with paying for the nursing home but are worried about having too many assets, then it’s time to talk to a lawyer. A lawyer practicing in Elder Law can assist you before and during your Medicaid application process. To find out more:

Veteran’s Benefits

A lawyer accredited through the Department of Veterans Affairs can discuss with you how pension programs developed for seniors may assist with your long-term care needs. It is important to understand how your assets and potential future Medicaid needs fit into the big picture. Find out more:


Dealing with property ownership of a deceased family member can be tricky. It is essential to determine whether probate is required. Properly handling most ownership issues must occur within one year of a person’s death. To find out how a lawyer can help you in this situation.