Special Needs Planning


For years, our attorneys have compassionately drafted special needs trusts for our clients. As a result, clients throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the entire city seek Grimaldi & Yeung LLP for the individually tailored special needs planning they seek. We help clients address a broad range of special needs, including:

  • Chronic illnesses
  • Autism
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Transitioning at age 18
  • Letters of intent
  • Special Needs Trusts (supplemental needs trusts)

We know that sharing your most personal family matters with a stranger is not easy whether you are dealing with a third-party special needs trust or letters of intent that communicate your child’s parenting needs to future caretakers. For decades we’ve worked with clients whose children can benefit from additional legal protections.

Health Care Decisions

Individuals with special needs may not be able to fully direct their own health care. Once an individual becomes an adult, however, he or she alone has the legal authority to act on his or her behalf. When this individual has the capacity to consent, he or she can appoint a surrogate to engage in decision-making. Grimaldi & Yeung LLP can provide two key legal documents to meet this special need:

  • Living will — to express treatment preferences, including resuscitation, artificial nutrition and artificial hydration.
  • MOLST (medical orders for life-sustaining treatment): to allow an individual to express preferences for treatment in emergencies. The form must be completed with an NYS-licensed physician.
  • Health care proxy — to designate an agent to manage an individual’s medical affairs. More information on these directives and other key legal documents is available in our Advance Directives

Disability Planning

When someone you care about has a disability, you are frequently faced with burdens in a variety of areas. There is constant worry of what will happen to him or her if you are not able to direct his or her care. Grimaldi & Yeung LLP employs a range of strategies to ensure that your loved ones enjoy the best quality of lives possible. These include:

  • Supplemental needs trusts — to set aside assets for him/her while preserving eligibility for government benefit programs.
  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILIT) — to set aside proceeds from your life insurance policies for your family member’s benefit in a protective trust, which will provide funds for care when you are no longer there to do so.
  • Letters of intent — to inform others who may be providing care and assistance to a person with a disability of his/her needs and preferences, as well as your own intentions and desires. Contact us and we will send you, free of charge, a sample letter of intent.

Special Needs Trusts (SNT)

A Special Needs Trust – sometimes called a Supplemental Needs Trust – is an important and flexible tool when you are doing long-term planning for an individual with special needs. SNTs are commonly used for three things:

  • To guard against the beneficiary’s inability to handle finances due to spendthrift propensity, lack of capacity to invest funds and pay expenses or limited judgment.
  • To create or protect current eligibility for government benefits for persons with disabilities.
  • To lay the groundwork for a future application for government benefits.

Topics On This Page

  • Health care decisions
  • Disability planning
  • Special needs trusts (SNT)