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Should I Create a Special Needs Trust for My Disabled Child? [VIDEO]

Norris McLaughlin, Attorneys at Law, New Jersey Elder Care and Special Needs Legal Practice Group, Video Blog Series, Peace of Mind, Chair Shana Siegel

Shana Siegel, Chair of the Norris McLaughlin Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group, answers your questions in Peace of Mind, a video blog production series from the Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group at Norris McLaughlin, P.A. This video addresses parents concerned with the need for special needs trust for children with disabilities.

Hi, I’m Shana Siegel and I’m the Chair of the Elder Care and Special Needs Group at Norris McLaughlin and today, we’re going to talk about special needs planning.

Should I create a special needs trust for my disabled child?

You know, there’s no one answer to that question. Generally, it does make sense to create a trust to manage the assets of the individual for special needs. It allows you to protect them from exploitation and to protect the inheritance so that it doesn’t jeopardize their public benefits down the road. But, not every individual with special needs needs a trust and there are different types of trusts and there are other tools that are available to maximize the assets for your loved one. Special needs planning is about a lot more than just trusts.

About the Norris McLaughlin Special Needs Attorneys

The firm’s experienced special needs law attorneys go beyond traditional planning to address the needs of individuals with disabilities by assisting them in long-term care planning and advocacy, guardianships, and conservatorships. They address the financial burden of the cost of care by advocating for their clients and also assist them in locating appropriate care, as well as coordinating private and public resources to finance that care.

The team’s services blend estate planning with long-term care planning, as they have deep expertise and personal experience with special needs issues, including the transition to adult services, and can provide guidance far beyond simply setting up a special needs trust.

Shana Siegel focuses her practice on representing individuals with special needs, seniors, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy. She has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

Abbey M. Horwitz practices exclusively in the area of estate planning and administration. She assists individuals and families with estate and tax planning in both New Jersey and New York. As a parent of a child with special needs, Abbey is also uniquely qualified to relate to and advise clients with planning for their special needs child. She prepares special needs trusts and other estate planning documents that are available to clients in planning for their children’s futures.

If you have any questions about this post or any other related matters, please feel free to email Shana at or Abbey at For related topics and more information on the legal services offered regarding elder care and special needs, visit