Portsmouth NH Special Needs Trust Attorney

Parents of children with developmental disabilities that will not be able to work and support themselves as adults can provide for their children in the future with special needs trusts. This special type of trust allows families of all economic means to leave money to help provide a better quality of life for their child without endangering their very important social security and Medicaid benefits. You can find more information on special needs trusts here. Our firm can help you develop a comprehensive estate plan that includes a special needs trust for your child with special needs to ensure resources for their care long into the future.

Your child may also need guardianship after they turn 18, when you, the parents, can no longer make decisions for them or even access educational and medical information without your child’s permission. Our firm can help families in Rockingham county and Stratford county apply for and present the necessary evidence to a Court to obtain an order of guardianship. Some of your questions about guardianship are answered here.

The best way to get answers to your questions and see if we can help you is to give us a call or send an email. We love to chat with families about their needs, and we promise you will learn something you didn’t already know when you talk to us. 833-RED-BOOT (833-733-2668) or legal@parkercounsel.com

Plano Special Needs Trust Attorney

A special needs trust is part of a comprehensive plan parents need to have in place to ensure that their child with a disability is well cared for to the end of their life.

If your child has a developmental disability that prevents them from caring for themselves as an adult, they may be eligible for SSI (supplemental security income) and Medicaid. But those benefits are only available to people with disabilities who have little income and few assets, so parents must use a special needs trust to leave money for the care of their child after the parents are gone. This involved creating a trust and then preparing a will that directs the child’s inheritance into the trust. You can read more about the basics of the special needs trust here.

At age 18, you may also need to seek guardianship for your child. We can help you apply in Dallas County, Tarrant County, Collin County, and Denton County for guardianship. You’ll find answer to common Texas Guardianship questions here.

And of course, the best way to get more information is to give us a call. We’re happy to chat on the phone or by email about your situation to see if we can help you out with your legal needs. 833-RED-BOOT (833-733-2668) or legal@parkercounsel.com

Ask the right questions about fiduciaries

One of the most difficult parts of estate planning is choosing the people you will name as your fiduciaries – that is, the people who will carry out your business.  The word fiduciary involves trust, and a fiduciary is a person who you trust to carry out the task for which you have named them.  In estate planning, you will name people to not only to handle your will, but also to handle your financial affairs in the case of your disability, to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so, to take care of your children if you die, and possibly to take care of the money and property that you leave your children while they are minors or if they are disabled.  While you do need someone you can trust in all those roles, there are other factors that are important as well.

If you are lucky enough to have enough family and friends to have to make choices, in addition to the question “who do I trust” you should also ask the following questions to help you determine the best choices for your various fiduciaries:

  • Who cares about my child?
  • Who understands and respects my wishes?
  • Who knows when to ask for help?
  • Who is happy to hear suggestions from other people?
  • Who is careful about recordkeeping?
  • Who is good with money?
  • Who would step up to help even if you didn’t ask?

These and other questions like them will help you think through the people in your life and figure out who the best matches are for the various fiduciary roles in your estate plan.  If no one fits the bill, your attorney can help you figure out how to either provide extra support for your fiduciaries, or point you to professionals who can fill the roles.

Parker Counsel Legal Services serves families in Central Texas,, the Dallas Metro area, Western Massachusetts, Northern New Jersey, and the New Hampshire Seacoast with special needs estate planning, special needs trusts, and guardianships. Contact us for a consultation at 833-RED-BOOT (833-733-2668) or legal@parkercounsel.com

Keep your estate and special needs plan up to date

Review your retirement, investment, and trust accounts

We help families in Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Hampshire plan for the future of their child with special needs, and part of that planning means knowing what you have. We recommend you periodically review all your accounts and assets to

  1. Make sure you remember what you have (as nice as it is to “find” money in the state unclaimed property lists, it’s better not to lose it in the first place)
  2. check the amount you have in it
  3. review whether you have a beneficiary named on the account and whether it is the correct beneficiary for your plan
  4. make sure that your property and any beneficiary designations still match your overall plan

Make a list of your current assets, their amounts, and the beneficiaries. If you need to make any changes, make an appointment with your financial planner or attorney to go over your situation.

Review your will, power of attorney, medical documents, and trust documents

After you take a look at what you own, take a look at the documents you have to take care of that property, both before and after your death.

  1. Are your fiduciary agents still the right people?
  2. Have there been any weddings, births, divorces or deaths that require changes to your plan?
  3. Have you moved to another state or had a significant change in your assets?

If you need to make changes or have questions about any of the changes in your life, make an appointment to see your attorney to make sure your plan is up to date and still does what you want it to do.

Parker Counsel Legal Services serves families in Central Texas,, the Dallas Metro area, Western Massachusetts, Northern New Jersey, and the New Hampshire Seacoast with special needs estate planning, special needs trusts, and guardianships. Contact us for a consultation at 833-RED-BOOT (833-733-2668) or legal@parkercounsel.com

Dallas Texas

Parker Counsel has added an attorney to our staff to serve families in the Dallas area. We can help with estate planning and special needs trusts to make sure your child with special needs remains eligible for medicaid after your death.

We can also help with obtaining guardianship of your child once they turn 18 – if you live in Dallas County, Denton County, Collin County or Tarrant County we’re ready to help you protect your child.

Contact us at 833-RED-BOOT (833-733-2668) or legal@parkercounsel.com to find out what we can do for you.

How NOT to use Special Needs Trust Money

Special needs trusts are simple and yet oh so complicated, like almost everything devised by the government. They are a wonderful tool for parents and others to provide money to use for a disabled child while protecting the child’s eligibility for Medicaid and SSI (social security benefits). They can hold any amount of money and that money can be used to supplement the benefits received from the government and thereby, it is hoped, enhance the quality of life of the individual.

The money cannot ever, however, be used to pay for items that the benefits are intended to cover, without causing some reduction in, or sometimes loss of, the benefits. This includes things like:

Cash given directly to the beneficiary for any purpose

Food or groceries

Restaurant meals (except if given as an occasional gift)

Rent or mortgage payments

Utilities such as electricity, gas, and water

Utilities hookup or connection charges

On the other hand, a special needs trust CAN make contributions to an ABLE account, and the ABLE account CAN be used to pay for many of the items the Trust cannot pay for. See? Simple and yet complicated all at the same time.

Parker Counsel Legal Services can help you understand how to use special needs trusts and ABLE accounts together in a well designed plan to provide for the future needs of your child with a special need. We serve families in Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Hampshire. Contact us for a consultation at 833-RED-BOOT (833-733-2668) or legal@parkercounsel.com

Special needs planning blueprint





This checklist keeps you organized as you work through creating a plan to care for your child with special needs in the future. Broken into sections that track the Four Keys System we use with our clients, this Blueprint will let you dive in wherever you can without missing items you need to come back to.

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    Myth vs Attorney

    As a special needs parent myself, I regularly tell our clients that getting connected to parent support groups is almost a necessity to get through life with a special needs child. Traditional sources of parenting wisdom and tips, like grandparents, the mommy group at the playground, and even the many many many parenting books at Barnes and Noble simply aren’t going to have the information we need for our differently abled and differently developing children. Special needs parent groups are a lifesaver.

    But there are certain types of information that should still come from professionals. I frequently see bits of info regarding benefits and legal issues passed around in these groups that is just plain wrong. Much of it is ultimately harmless, but a lot of things I see can actually result in the loss of benefits and opportunities if the information is taken as true.

    For example, recently this myth has been making the rounds: that individuals with disablities can only open an ABLE account if they are receicving SSI benefits. This is not true. You do not have to be receiving benefits in order to qualify for an ABLE account. And this is only the latest in a string of myths I see passed around about programs and benefits for kids and adults with special needs.

    [The ABLE National Resource Center has a webinar coming up this Thursday, June 20, to bust that and some other myths about ABLE accounts.
    https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_XBFVQO0TQBOyYT1iDCjOxg ]

    Just as you must go to a doctor for a reliable medical diagnosis, you must go to experts for other types of reliable information. An attorney who deals with special needs issues is one great source, and our office is always willing to answer questions – the easiest way to get a question to us is by email legal@parkercounsel.com but you can also call and leave a message. We will get back to you. We are here to help as best we can.

    Make sure you have accurate information about what help your child is entitled to and make sure you have accurate information about how to get those benefits.

    Parker Counsel Legal Services provides estate planning, guardianship, special needs trusts, and other services to families who have children with developmental disabilities in Texas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.

    New Hampshire ABLE Accounts

    If you have a child or young adult in your New Hampshire family with a disability, thinking about therapies and medical visits and educational life skills isn’t the only are you need to be thinking about. There are also financial concerns about how the child will meet housing and medical and other future needs.

    The biggest financial necessity is Medicaid and social security benefits, but in order to get those and still have money from parents or other family members to supplement the small cash benefit from social security, careful planning is required. Special needs trusts, trustees, estate planning for family members, and guardianships or alternatives for those that need help are all required in order to maximize the resources available to provide your child with a good life. And now there is another tool that can work alongside the other planning tools – an ABLE Account.

    ABLE accounts are available to anyone with a disability that began before the age of 26. The accounts allow up to $15,000 a year to be deposited with certain tax advantages, and without being considered a resource that will interfere with receiving medicaid and SSI. These accounts can also be managed and money can be spent from them by the individual with the disability directly, rather than by a trustee as with special needs trusts. This makes these accounts especially useful for individuals with physical but not cognitive disabilities who have money management skills.

    You can view details of the New Hampshire program here, but New Hampshire families can open an ABLE account in any state.

    Parker Counsel Legal Services assists families in New Hampshire in setting up special needs trusts, ABLE accounts, guardianships, and other planning needs for special needs family members. Find out how we can help you – call us at 833-RED-BOOT (833-733-2668).

    Massachusetts ABLE Accounts


    Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

    An ABLE account is a type of bank account available to people who have a disability that began prior to the age of 26. The account allows individuals to accumulate their own money in amounts that would otherwise make them ineligible to receive SSI and MassHealth (Medicaid) benefits. They can also manage and spend the money in the account themselves, if they are otherwise able to, something that is not possible with the use of a Special Needs Trust.

    ABLE accounts are especially useful for individuals who have their own income through a job or other source, but the accounts can be useful for other reasons as well. They may even allow an indi individual or their family to spend money to supplement housing costs without causing a reduction in SSI benefits.

    ABLE accounts do not replace the need for a special needs trust, as trusts are able to hold far more money than an ABLE account and are typically used to receive an inheritance or life insurance from a parent. Your attorney can help you figure out how to use ABLE accounts and special needs trusts to maximize the amount of resources available to care for your child throughout their life.

    Families in Western Mass, or other areas of Massachusetts, can find details of the state ABLE account program here. However, an ABLE account can be opened in any state, regardless of where you live.

    Parker Counsel Legal Services helps families in Massachusetts with special needs members to set up a plan to care for their family member to the end of their life, using estate planning, special needs trusts, guardianships or other assistance, and other tools. Call us at 833-RED-BOOT (833-733-2668) to see if we can help you.