Special Needs Trusts & Structured Settlements

Special Needs Trusts & Structured Settlements require a wide set of skills for any lawyer or law firm. From drafting trust documents, advising families about public benefits, Social Security and tax issues, and going to court for or with personal injury attorneys seeking court permission to fund a plan, the process can be arduous. There are various kinds of special needs trusts, designed for different situations. Even more importantly, there are times when a special needs trust is not required at all and another type of plan should instead be put into place for the disabled person. Only a careful review of all the facts will result in the best outcome.

Our recent cases have involved the creation of the Rhode Island Pooled Trust to allow persons with disabilities and special needs to setup personal needs savings trust accounts without the cost an attorney and a more complicated arrangement; establishing a supplemental needs trust for a blind elderly gentlemen who was about to lose Social Security and other public benefits because his inheritance was not left in trust; creating a court approved special needs trust for a minor with disabilities who was awarded a six figure settlement in an auto accident case; obtaining court authorization to reform a decades old trust for a corporate bank trustee because it did not conform to current law; correcting a structured settlement from a medical malpractice lawsuit for a disabled person about to lose multiple services which allowed her to remain in the community and at home with her parents; completing an estate tax plan for a couple with a child with special needs and advising on the use of retirement accounts to fund a special needs trust at death; securing court authorization for a personal injury settlement and the establishment of a special needs trust for a disabled person who received a $500,000 settlement with frontal brain damage and who needed public benefits and housing along with the settlement in order to stay in the community; correcting a marital deduction and credit shelter trust that had an invalid clause to care for a child with special needs; terminating special needs trusts for individuals that did not need such structures and where the trustees had abandoned their positions; and preparing a multi-layered estate plan to allow for nursing home protection for the parents and a special needs trust at death for an adult disabled child.