If you have been considering establishing a special needs trust, you may have asked yourself whether you need an attorney to help you with the process. Or, even more likely, you have decided to use an attorney, but you do not know whether you need a special needs trust attorney. The simple answer to this question is that when establishing something as important as a special needs trust, it only makes sense to recruit an attorney who deals with these documents on a routine basis. Just like you would not visit a dentist for heart surgery, you should not visit just any attorney to help you establish a special needs trust, unless that attorney has a history of experience and competence in the area.
Of course, most attorneys have the authority to create a special needs trust, but not every attorney has the experience or knowledge to do so effectively. There is a complex statutory framework that regulates special needs trusts, and unless an attorney has devoted time and study to these statutes, he or she is unlikely to be a competent special needs trust attorney. And, unfortunately, when special needs trusts are poorly drafted, beneficiaries can suffer severe consequences, ranging from a loss of savings to disqualification from the public benefits upon which they rely. To avoid these types of issues, you should always work with a special needs trust attorney when establishing a special needs trust.