Contact an Experienced NJ

Special Needs Trust (SNT)

Attorney Today.

altern_guardianshipLife is hard without being disabled. The life of a disabled child or adult can be even harder, more isolated and full of anxiety, fear and frustration. The future is less certain especially if the caretaker is getting older or is declining in health. I truly understand these emotions and concerns. I’m here for you.

Millions of Americans have disabled family members. The cause may be genetic or from birth, from a serious accident, injury, and countless other physical, mental reasons.

Even if you don’t have a disabled family member, you know many individuals who are. Cognitive and physical disabilities are not limited to a particular racial or socio-economic group.

If you have a child (young or older), or if you know someone who is disabled, you simply must know about Special Needs Trusts. These trusts are designed to protect the income and property for the benefit of an individual who is receiving public benefits (or likely to receive public benefits in the future) without causing a disqualification of those benefits.

If the person is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability (SSD) or some form of state aid or assistance (i.e. Section 8 housing, food stamps, prescription assistance), they will remain eligible for these benefits with a properly drafted Special Needs Trust.

Learn the Benefits of Setting Up a Special Needs Trust in NJ


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At Hanlon Niemann & Wright, We Understand

New Jersey Special Needs Trusts.

Special needs is a term used in clinical, diagnostic and functional development to describe individuals who require assistance for disabilities that may be cognitive or  psychological.  Individuals with Autism, Down syndrome, dyslexia, blindness, developmental disability or cystic fibrosis for example, may be considered to have special needs. But eligibility for a SNT is not just limited to special needs persons. A disabled person also qualifies. A Disabled person is defined as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities. It can be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, sensory or a combination of these. 

Fred Niemann - NJ Special Needs Trust Attorney

Fred Niemann, NJ Special Needs Trust Attorney

Please Listen to Me!

You Need a Special Needs Trust

for an Impaired, Disabled or

Incapacitated Minor Child, Adult Child,

Sibling or Family Member in New Jersey.

We Can Help.



Why Choose Hanlon Niemann

Understanding the Difference Between a Special
Needs Trust and a Supplemental Needs Trust



From start to finish, the entire experience of the “dreaded” estate planning and especially preparing our special needs child trust agreement went so smoothly.  That is thanks to the professionalism and dedication of Mr. Niemann and his wonderful staff.

Mr. Niemann, with the help of Lucille and Michele managed to guide us with sound advice, answer each and every question that arose (and there were many!) with the utmost patience, sensitivity and always with a smile on their faces.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

We will be counting on all of you for helping us to obtain guardianship of Hannah next year!

—Sharon Arafa, Cliffwood, NJ


Mr. Niemann has been a God send to me and my family. He has met with me many, many times with patience, sensitivity and understanding that few people expect from an attorney. My family issues are complex and Mr. Niemann understands what I want to happen to my estate upon my death, especially for my adult incapacitated child and other adult children. He created a special trust for my son. He has followed up with me to help me make decisions without forcing his opinions on me. In the end, he told me, “Jerri, my job is to explain your choices and help you understand the legal effect of those choices.”

He guided me and put me at ease. He wanted me to make decisions that are the right ones for me. I am thankful for Mr. Niemann being my attorney and I recommend him to elderly persons who seek a qualified professional who will treat them with dignity, respect and sensitivity.

—Jeraldine Vincitore, Freehold, NJ


Please accept my sincere thanks to your law firm, to you, Lauren Bercik and your staff for all of your patience and assistance in helping my sister and I through the tangled legal jungle in preparation for my sister’s Special Needs Trust account.  We would have been lost without you.

— Ginny Ditzel, Snow Camp, NC

Why use a Special Needs Trust for a Special Needs disabled individual?

There are many reasons for creating a Special Needs Trust.  It will be my pleasure to explain them to you face to face.  Here are some of the benefits I explain to clients when recommending a Special Needs Trust.  I have bullet pointed them for you here and then I go onto explaining each point in much greater detail on the pages that follow;

  • The disabled beneficiary will keep his/her income (SSI or SSD) and health care benefits, including Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Money in the trust can be used to pay for personal items and services not covered by public benefits
  • Money in the trust can be used to pay for a doctor who will not accept Medicaid, or for the services, co-pays and deductibles not covered by Medicare A & B & Medicaid
  • Parents and grandparents can control how, when and where trust assets go after they are deceased. The only alternatives to the Special Needs Trust are (1) leaving nothing to the child; or (2) leaving money in trust that is not a SNT and cause the loss of public benefits.

If you leave money to a disabled child outright, he or she will lose public benefits. After the assets are spent down to under $2,000, the child can go back on public benefits. All the money you have given will be lost. It is so easy to solve this mistake with a Special Needs Trust.

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our Special Needs Trust Booklet – It’s FREE!

Special Needs Trust Booklet

Recent Speaking Events by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq.
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Consult With a New Jersey Special Needs Trust Attorney Today

Contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at

As a father himself, Mr. Niemann is a sensitive and caring attorney willing to help you achieve the brightest possible future for your child or family member.

Types of Special Needs Trusts  in New Jersey

First Party and Third Party Special Needs Trusts in New Jersey

There are two types of special needs trusts.  A special needs trust will be either a “Third Party Trust” or a First Party Trust.  I know that’s a mouth full.  Let me make it easier to understand.

You may initially determine whether a special needs trust is a Third Party Trust or First Party Trust by looking at the source of the assets used to fund the trust.  If the assets used to fund the trust do not belong to the beneficiary, or if they are not deemed to belong to the beneficiary, then the trust is a Third Party Trust.  In other words, a Third Party Trust will always be established by someone other than the disabled, special needs person with funds in which the beneficiary has no ownership interest.  For example, funds coming from a parent, grandparent or sibling are owned by the parent, etc.  They are not the funds owned by the child/disabled adult.

There are two general requirements for a Third Party special needs trust to be deemed “legal”.  First, these trusts must be established by someone other than the trust beneficiary.  Third Party Trusts are usually established by parents of adult or minor children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends, or any other independent party with no legal duty to support the trust beneficiary.  A spouse cannot be considered a third party.  The second key requirement is that these trusts must be established with funds in which the beneficiary has no ownership interest.  Third Party Trusts can be more easily adapted to the needs and wants of the person creating the trust and can therefore be part of a more traditional estate plan.  They can be revocable or irrevocable, and most significantly, do not require any “payback provisions” to New Jersey upon the death of the beneficiary.  Payback provisions are critical and should always be avoided when possible. I’ll explain why in the last part of the section which follows immediately below.

First Person Disability Trusts in New Jersey

These trusts are also referred to as (d)(4)(A) trusts.  They are described in the Federal statutes that authorizes them.  This type of trust is generally called a “first person special needs trust”.  To establish a valid First Person Disability Trust in New Jersey, the trust must satisfy the legal requirements set forth below:

  • The Trust must be created solely for the benefit of an individual who is disabled as defined by law and who is under 65 years of age.
  • The trust may only be established by the adult disabled person, the individual’s parent(s), grandparent(s), legal guardian, Power of Attorney (POA), or by a Court.
  • The Trust must be established with the funds and assets belonging to the individual, not a third party like a parent or grandparent like I described immediately above.
  • Any funds that remain in the Trust at the disabled individual’s death must be used to reimburse the State for medical benefits provided over the individual’s lifetime.  This requirement to reimburse the State is commonly referred to as a “payback provision”.  This payback requirement is what distinguishes a Special Needs Trust (First Party SNT) from a Supplemental Needs Trust (Third Party SNT).

What About Pooled Trusts in New Jersey

Some people have heard about Pooled Trusts, but most people have not.  What are they?  Well, these trusts are referred to as (d)(4)(C) trusts. They are trusts managed and invested by non-profit organizations under IRS Code 501(c). These organizations serve the disabled community. With a pooled trust the funds of the disabled person are invested with hundreds/thousands of other disabled persons in a common trust fund for the economic benefit and welfare of each disabled person. Each participant has their own separate sub-trust in a large master trust and each participant has their own tax id number.  To establish a valid Pooled Trust, it must satisfy the legal requirements set forth below in plain language.

  • The Trust must be established and managed by a non-profit association.
  • The Trust must maintain separate accounts for each Beneficiary, but the funds are pooled for purposes of investment and management.
  • Each separate Trust account must be established solely for the benefit of an individual who is disabled as defined by law, and it may only be created by that individual, the individual’s parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or a Court.  There are no age restrictions or requirements.
  • The individual’s account must be established with assets belonging to that individual.
  • Any funds that remain in the individual’s account at death may be kept by the non-profit trustee for their charitable purpose(s).  Any funds not retained by the Trust must be used to reimburse the State.  This may be referred to as a modified payback requirement.
  • New Jersey allows Pooled Trusts for individuals age 65 and younger.  It does not allow Pooled Trusts to be created by individuals past the age of 65.


Please Also Visit our other related websites:

NJ Guardianship Attorney NJ Power of Attorney Alzheimer’s / Dementia NJ Medicaid Attorney NJ Elder Law Center NJ Trust Attorney

NJ Elder Care  



Rutgers State University is pleased to invite Mr. Fred Niemann of Hanlon Niemann to be the guest speaker at their workshops for the Office of Continuing Education.

Mr. Niemann will offer continuing Education courses on “Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation”, “Hidden Secrets of Veterans Benefits”, “Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits 2013”, “Medicaid Changes: The Approaching Storm”, and the “New NJ Comprehensive Waiver Demonstration”.

Click here to check our website for current dates for these events.

Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. was recently asked to speak at the NJ State Bar Association Institute of Continuing Legal Education in New Brunswick, NJ on the essentials of estate planning.

Mr. Niemann addressed attorneys from throughout the state of NJ interested in learning key concepts and principals of NJ estate planning, including such topics as wills, trusts, estate taxations, asset protection, powers of attorney, health care directives, special needs and supplemental needs trusts for disabled and incapacitated individuals, avoiding probate through creative use of beneficiary planning, inheritance taxes, gifting and changes coming to federal estate taxation.

Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. attended the 46th annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning Conference from January 9th to January 13th at the Orlando World Center sponsored by the Community of Miami School of Law. This week long session assembled the nation’s leading authorities to lecture and discuss the latest in estate planning techniques and strategies. Topics analyzed and discussed included 1) elder law; 2) asset protection; 3) statutory case law developments; 4) planning with financial assets including annuities, Roth IRA’s, and life insurance policies; 5) litigation and tax controversies; 6) networking and practice development.

Mercer County Chapter of the New Jersey Society of CPAs

Fredrick P. Niemann spoke before the State Society of CPAs Mercer County Chapter on the subject of Estate Planning and Asset Protection Planning for individuals and families.  Topics addressed during the 4 hour seminar included hospice planning and asset protection, Veterans Aid & Attendance, planning through the use of a Power of Attorney, Living Will and Healthcare Directive.  Attendees at the seminar were eligible to receive 4 hours of professional CEU credits from the State Society.

Special Needs Trust Lawyer in New Jersey

New Jersey Special Needs Trust

Special Needs Trust attorney serving these New Jersey Counties:

Monmouth County, Ocean County, Essex County, Cape May County, Camden County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Bergen County, Morris County, Burlington County, Union County, Somerset County, Hudson County, Passaic County

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