Important: Read our coronavirus (COVID-19) statement here.


Caring and planning for a loved one with a disability is a tremendous undertaking. Mistakes can be costly, resulting in the loss of income for the person with special needs, or loss of other significant benefits, such as healthcare. The rules which govern these programs are complex and constantly changing. Our experienced attorneys stay current on the rules and regulations necessary to ensure continued eligibility and continued access to services.

We will help you with the following special needs planning matters:

  • Surrogate decision making - financial and healthcare decisions including powers of attorney, health care proxies, living wills and guardianship.
  • Asset management and protection, including Supplemental Needs Trusts, and Pooled Trusts.
  • Eligibility for governmental benefits including home care, Medicaid, SSI, SSDI, and Medicare.
  • Assisting parents and other family members to provide for loved ones through Wills and trusts.
We assist both the individual with special needs and their families with the objective of developing a comprehensive plan. We employ a holistic approach which focuses on and integrates all of the critical issues.


Why should you do a special needs trust?
When you plan to include an individual who is disabled or receives governmental benefits in your estate plan, including a spouse in a nursing home.

When should you set up a special needs trust?
Depending on your situation and the situation of the individual you plan to benefit, you could establish an existing trust today, or a trust under your Will that is only created after your death. In both cases, the goal is to shelter assets for that individual’s benefit and preserve their eligibility for governmental benefits.

Do I need a lawyer to set up a special needs trust?
Not only do you need a lawyer, you should work with an attorney who focuses their practice in special needs planning, ideally one who is a member of the Special Needs Alliance. This is highly technical planning where minor errors can have dramatic and expensive consequences.

How do you name a special needs trust?
You and your attorney will choose a name for the trust.

How do you dissolve a special needs trust?
If the Trustee believes the trust is no longer providing any benefit, they can work with an attorney and the department of social services to terminate the trust.

What happens to a special needs trust when the person dies?
Depending on the type of trust, the remaining assets either reimburse the government or pass according to the grantor’s wishes.

Who can manage a special needs trust?
Anyone who qualifies as a Trustee under the laws of the state where it was established.

Can I buy a car with a special needs trust?
You can. Whether you should depends on which benefits you receive, what type of trust is established, and state law.

Should I put my home in a special needs trust?
This depends on the benefits you receive, the laws of the state in which you reside, and should be made with the advice of an attorney who focuses his or her practice on special needs planning.

Can a special needs trust be broken?
If the Trustee believes the trust is no longer providing any benefit, they can work with an attorney and the department of social services to terminate the trust.

What can money in a special needs trust be used for?
Money in a supplemental needs trust is to be used to provide for the beneficiary’s needs outside of what is already provided through governmental benefits.

How can an attorney help special needs estate planning?
An attorney can advise a family on state and federal benefits eligibility, and the rules regarding establishing trusts to continue receiving those benefits. Once the right type of plan is set in motion, any trusts under that plan should be drafted and executed only under the supervision of an attorney who focuses his or her practice in this area of law, preferably a member of the Special Needs Alliance.
You have been so kind to me for our legal needs. All of the time and expertise that you provided to us, is appreciated more than I can say... I will look forward to seeing you when I need more of your good advice.

- Carol


Richard A. Kroll, Esq. has an active practice in the area of Estate Planning, Trusts, and Probate. He is a member of the...

View More


Private practice in Rochester, New York with the Kroll Law Firm since 2007, a group practice in Brighton, New York with emphasis on...

View More


Marcus's practice involves estate planning for all families, including LGBT couples, second marriages, and families who have members with...

View More
We Welcome The Opportunity To Extend Our Expertise To You And Your Family
Richard A. Kroll
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...


Marcus William KrollClients’ ChoiceAward 2015

Copyright © Kroll Law Firm, LLP 2020 - All rights reserved
Web Design by Scriptable Solutions