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Special Needs Planning

If you have someone in your life who has special needs, it is important you understand the unique issues associated with leaving them a legacy or helping to provide for their future. A special needs child or any loved one with physical or mental handicaps may need your financial support, even after you have passed away. You may also wish to make special provisions to ensure your loved one is cared for in the way you would desire.

Barbara M. Pizzolato provides comprehensive assistance with special needs planning for individuals and families who need to provide for the care of a handicapped or disabled loved one. You want to make sure any gift you leave behind is a benefit and not a burden or hindrance, so you should ensure you have developed an appropriate plan. Call today to find out about how you can get legal help and to get answers to questions including:

  • Why is special needs planning important?
  • What is involved in special needs planning?
  • How can an experienced attorney help with special needs planning?


The needs of a person who is handicapped or disabled can be greater than those of other children or loved ones you wish to take care of after your death. It is imperative you determine how best to meet those needs. Special needs planning involves understanding your legal options and making use of the tools that help you to take care of those who are important to you.

Many people with special needs receive government benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or medical coverage through Medicaid. These programs are needs-based and are means-tested programs, so leaving an inheritance to a special needs person could actually result in loss of access to essential benefits. You want to make sure your gift improves, rather than interferes with, quality of life. With special needs planning, it is possible to do that.


Special needs planning generally involves the creation of a special needs trust. The trust benefits the person who is disabled but does not transfer assets directly to that person. A trustee manages assets and uses them to provide a better quality of life for the beneficiary, but the beneficiary does not own the assets and is thus not disqualified from access to any government benefits.

For those responsible for the care of a person with special needs, a comprehensive plan may also include instructions for how the disabled individual left behind will be provided with care. Barbara M. Pizzolato can help with the creation and funding of a trust, with the creation of a last will and testament, and with other estate planning tools that allow you to ensure a person with special needs continues to enjoy the best possible quality of life after you are no longer in their life.


Barbara M. Pizzolato cares deeply about every client and is committed to helping clients who wish to provide a gift or develop a plan for the care of someone with special needs. Clients benefit from representation by a Southwest Florida estate planning lawyer with the experience necessary to help you make a plan that works for your loved ones. Call today to learn more.

Fort Myers (Main Office):

8660 College Pkwy

Suite 400

Fort Myers, FL 33919

P: (239) 225-7911

F: (239) 221-0279



By Appointment only

New Jersey Office:

c/o Richard A. Feldman, Esq.

80 Main Street, Suite 140

West Orange, NJ 07052

P: (866) 817-4713

F: (239) 221-0279

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