Understanding Special Needs Trusts

Date: Feb 5, 2024 1:00 p.m. – 4:35 p.m.

Location: Online

Member Price: $159

Non-Member Price: $199

Event Code: I096024

Areas of Law: Real Property, Trust, & Estate

Earn up to 4 credits! (More Information)




Lawrence A. Friedman, Esq.
Friedman Law, Bridgewater
Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA-accredited National Elder Law Foundation, is in private practice in Bridgewater, New Jersey. He concentrates his practice in elder and special needs law; government aid; Wills, trusts, estates and tax law, including the preparation of estate and tax planning documents such as Wills, trusts, powers of attorney and health care directives; nursing home and long-term care planning; guardianships; Medicaid, Medicare and other government programs; special needs trusts to protect disability aid in gift and estate planning; personal injury; divorce settlements; Medicare set-aside arrangements; Division of Developmental Disabilities concerns and other legal matters.

Mr. Friedman is admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York, and before the United States Tax Court. Past Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association's Elder and Disability Law Section and a member of the Association’s Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, he has served as a Director of Somerset ARC (formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens) and has been a member of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of New Jersey and the Malaria Foundation.

The author of scores of articles in his areas of expertise, Mr. Friedman is a frequent lecturer for ICLE, the New Jersey State Bar Association and Foundation, NAELA, several elder and disability groups, and other public and private sponsors. He is a recipient of ICLE’s Distinguished Service Award, the NJSBA’s Distinguished Legislative Service Award for drafting legislation that facilitates the use of special needs trusts and the PLAN/NJ Life Planning Partner Award. Mr. Friedman founded the NJSBA’s annual Elder Law Retreat, a two-day educational symposium for elder law attorneys, and has moderated the ICLE’s Sophisticated Elder Law program for 25 years. Copies of his many legal articles and further information on his credentials appear at SpecialNeedsNJ.com, and he also administers the website’s frequently-updated blog.

Mr. Friedman received his B.A. from the State University of New York-Binghamton (Harpur College), where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and served on the University Assembly. He received his J.D. and LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law, where he was Editor of the N.Y.U. Journal of International Law & Politics and a Student Fellow of the Center for International Studies. He also received awards from the Association of Trial Lawyers of America Environmental Law Essay Contest and the American Society of International Law Essay Contest.


Mark R. Friedman, Esq.
Friedman Law, Bridgewater
practices estate planning, elder law and special needs law with Friedman Law in Bridgewater, New Jersey. His work includes creating special needs trusts for disabled clients so litigation proceedings, child support and other payments will not disrupt public benefits; helping seniors plan to prevent long-term care costs from wiping out their savings; and estate planning in first marriages, second marriages and for unmarried clients.

Admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York, Mr. Friedman is Past Chair and former Roundtable Coordinator and Legislative Coordinator of the New Jersey State Bar Association Elder and Disability Law Section. He was Somerset County representative to and Executive Committee member of the NJSBA Young Lawyers, and served on the NJSBA Blue Ribbon Commission on Unmet Legal Needs. Prior to joining the firm Mr. Friedman was a Contributing Editor for The FCPA Blog in Singapore, ROS, where he provided analysis on compliance, corruption and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). He is the author of articles including “Modern Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples” (New Jersey Law Journal, October 14, 2013).

Mr. Friedman received his B.A. from Binghamton University, State University of New York, and his J.D. from New York University Law School, where he was selected as an inaugural Fellow with Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics, which sends law and medical students to Germany and Poland to study their profession’s role in the Nazi genocide. He also created the Darfur Victims Project at NYU, leading a team of law students in support of litigation before the International Criminal Court.
Richard H. Greenberg, Esq.
Past Chair, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, New JerseySBA
Greenberg & Schulman, Monroe
Crystal West Edwards, Esq., CELA
Porzio Bromberg & Newman, PC, Morristown
Shirley B. Whitenack, Esq.
Schenck Price Smith & King, LLP, Florham Park

Individuals with serious disabilities often qualify for government benefits like Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, Division of Developmental Disabilities residential placements and day programs and housing aid. However, estate plans and personal injury recoveries are usually disqualifying unless they include special needs trusts. Special needs trusts permit gifts, devises and litigation recoveries to benefit individuals with serious disabilities without jeopardizing key government aid. In addition to hurting your clients, you may risk malpractice and professional responsibility liability unless you have a functional understanding of these specialized trusts. 

Register today to hear an experienced panel of New Jersey experts provide the tactics you need to know to effectively represent special needs clients. Through a series of practical discussions, the panel will offer planning tips and items you need to watch for when drafting these trusts. You will come away with an entirely new perspective and a rock-solid foundation you can build in the future.

Program Agenda:

  • 1:00| What makes a trust special? - Lawrence A. Friedman, Esq. and Mark R. Friedman, Esq.
    - Creating first party and third-party supplemental/special needs trusts and what does the Uniform Trust Code have to say about SNTs? 
  • 1:30 | What’s a lawyer to do when a client or interested party has diminished capacity? - Shirley B. Whitenack, Esq.
    - Informed consent, settlement requisites, lawyer’s duties when client’s decisions may appear counter to client’s best interests, counsel for alleged incapacitated persons in guardianship cases and more.
  • 2:20 | Medicaid and Medicare aspects of PI settlements liens, special needs trusts & Medicare set asides - Lawrence A. Friedman, Esq. and Mark R. Friedman, Esq.
  • 3:00 | Break
  • 3:10 | Income tax aspects of first and third-party SNTs, trust vs. beneficiary taxation on SNT income, strategies to avoid or minimize state taxation of SNT income and general trust tax concerns - Richard H. Greenberg, Esq.
  • 3:50 | Corporate Trustees & SNTs - Crystal West Edwards, Esq., CELA
    - Finding institutions willing to be corporate trustees of SNTs, acting as attorney for SNT trustees, pros and cons of corporate trustee vs. family member trustee vs non-profit trustee like PLAN/NJ and pros and cons of trust protectors in SNTs.
  • 4:30 | Final thoughts
  • 4:35 | Adjourn

CLE Credits
NJ CLE:NJ CLE information: This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 4 hours of total CLE credit (Full Credits Available: CPE Taxation: 4.0, NJ General: 4.0).
NY CLE (t&nt):NY Professional Practice Non-Transitional: 4.0
PA CLE:PA Substantive Credit: 3.0
New: No PACLE fee is required for this program. To earn PA CLE credits, a valid PA Bar ID number must be entered into the CLE form provided after attending the program.

Important Information About Our Events, Meetings, and More:
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Read our Scholarship & Financial Assistance Policy and submit an Application here: https://njsba.com/njicle/cle-programs/scholarship/



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