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RI Elder Law Attorney
RI Elder Law Attorney
Professional Fiduciary Services Connelly LAw Offices, Ltd.
RI Elder Law Attorney

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Special Needs Planning

Elder Law Attorney for Rhode Island, Eastern Connecticut and Southeastern Massachusetts

At Connelly Law, our attorneys will help you plan for your loved one with special needs. Special needs planning and special education advocacy are two of our core practice areas. We know that caring for a person with special needs involves a deep emotional connection, and we provide a number of specially developed services to help enhance the person’s quality of life.  If you became unable to provide these services or if you pass away without planning for their continuation, your loved one’s quality of life may suffer.

Our Staff Can Help

Our attorneys use a person-centered approach to assist you with all manner of special needs planning issues, which are an important part of estate planning.

We can establish comprehensive care plans organized so that money for your loved one with special needs will not be at risk from estate taxes or the long-term care costs of caregivers. We can also assist with applying for SSI benefits for a person with disabilities and applying and qualifying for Medicaid.​

We can also help you provide for a person with special needs in your will, apply for guardianship and set up a special needs trust or supplemental needs trust.

We stand ready to teach you about the estate planning options available to you and to assist your family with long-term care planning for your loved ones with special needs. 

Special Needs and Supplemental Needs Trusts


Special needs trusts, also known as supplemental needs trusts, are an essential tool in planning for the future of your child with special needs.


As with any trust, a trustee will manage funds for a beneficiary. A special needs trust benefits families and children with disabilities by protecting assets and retaining public benefits, because the funds they hold are not considered income for the purpose of eligibility for benefits. Therefore, when a child with special needs turns 18, he or she may continue to receive certain need-based benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), while funds from the trust can be used for the child’s supplemental needs. Special needs trusts allow families and trustees to hold funds for the benefit of individuals who cannot manage money on their own.

Keep in mind that there are three main types of special needs trusts: self-settled trusts, which use funds owned by the beneficiary, such as an inheritance or legal settlement; pooled trusts, which are managed by nonprofit organizations for many beneficiaries; and third-party trusts, which may be established by the parents or other loved ones of a person with special needs.

Establishing special needs trusts is a complex job , and there are important considerations to keep in mind regarding public benefits, tax implications and the impact of the trust on a family’s overall financial and estate plan. Our special needs planning attorneys will take the time to understand your needs, and we will provide you with comprehensive advice throughout the process including the time for transition.

Connelly Law Offices is here to help. Contact us for a consultation about how we can help your family create and carry out a plan for your child’s success.

Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and Eastern Connecticut Elder Law Attorney

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Rhode Island Elder Law Attorney


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This website includes general information about legal issues, issues affecting seniors and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues and/or problems.