Abby N. Cohler, Attorney at Law
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Ensuring The Security Of Your Family With Special Needs Trusts

If your child or adult loved one is disabled, you face both daily and long-term challenges. In addition to obtaining specialized care, you must find a way to pay for that care. Depending on the nature of the disability, that care may be required for the rest of the disabled person's life.

Helping You Make Sound Decisions For Your Loved Ones

I am Abby N. Cohler, Attorney at Law, an experienced special needs planning lawyer serving clients throughout New Jersey. I understand the challenges people with disabled children, grandchildren, parents and spouses face. For more than 20 years, I have been providing my clients with the information and guidance they need to protect their intentions and assets.

Using the tools of estate planning, I can help you set up a special needs trust (also known as a supplemental needs trust) to provide money for your disabled family member, both during your life and after you die.

Whether your loved one has autism spectrum disorder (Asperger's syndrome), Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, Alzheimer's disease or another disabling condition, I can help you.

What Is So 'Special' About A Special Needs Trust?

Like any trust, a special needs trust enables the donor (also called a settlor or trustor) to dedicate funds for a specific purpose. While in trust, the funds are protected and can only be used for the purposes defined by the trust document. Like other trusts, a special needs trust is managed by a chosen representative (or representatives). The manager of a trust is known as a trustee.

A special needs trust is "special" because it dedicates funds specifically for the disabled person to increase his or her quality of life without endangering his or her access to public benefits such as Medicaid and Social Security.

A special needs trust can be used for any of the following:

  • Medical and dental care not covered by Medicaid or other government programs
  • Hobby-related supplies, including craft materials, musical instruments and books
  • Entertainment, including parties and vacations
  • Nonessential personal items such as cosmetics and haircuts
  • Car maintenance and insurance
  • Tuition and other educational expenses
  • Legal costs related to the trust
  • Funeral or burial expenses

Keep Quality Of Life Without Losing Medicaid And Social Security Benefits

A special needs trust should never be used to pay for food, shelter or clothing. This is because it must supplement the public benefits the person receives, not replace them. Funds used for nonexempt necessities must be deducted from the public benefits a beneficiary receives.

Despite this restriction, a special needs trust can be extremely useful to a disabled child or adult because it permits access to inherited assets and other income that would otherwise be deducted from public benefits.

Is A Special Needs Trust Right For Me? | Marlton Special Needs Trusts Lawyer

I understand that my clients' circumstances are unique. Your decision on whether a special needs trust is the right option depends on many factors, including the types of assets you have, how you acquired those assets, the nature and severity of your loved one's disability, and the types of services your loved one already receives or could eventually receive.

Despite these complications, it is possible to create an effective, durable and economical plan for your disabled loved one, provided you seek my guidance as a special needs planning lawyer.

Let Me Help You | Contact Abby N. Cohler, Attorney At Law

To discuss you questions about New Jersey special needs planning, contact me at Abby N. Cohler, Attorney at Law, today. I can meet with you privately, in a one-on-one consultation to discuss your circumstances and options. I also offer flexible appointment times.

Retain me, and I will return your calls and emails, and be available to answer your legal questions. You may reach me by telephone at 856-375-1981.

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