Special Needs Trusts & Planning in Western Pennsylvania

Proudly Offering Discounted Legal Fees!

D'Onofrio Law Office, P.C. is a law office that understands how important it is to protect government benefits as well as monetary gifts and Inherited money for your special needs loved one. As a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, I understand the stress and expense involved with raising a special needs child and I strive to assist you by discounting the usual attorney's fees quoted by most Pennsylvania attorneys.

NOTICE - Although my office is located in the Pittsburgh area, I am able, through the advancements of modern technology, to assist you with your Special Needs Planning whether you live down the street from my office or on the other side of the State.

REMOTE SERVICE - You may use my Special Needs Planning services via telephone consultation, Skype, and email exchange of information resulting in my drafting your Special Needs Trust and related estate planning documents, which I will mail to you in a leather bound tabbed binder within 48 hours of receiving all of the requested information.

OFFICE MEETING - I am always happy to meet face-to-face with you in my office.


When you retain D'Onofrio Law Office, P.C. to draft your Special Needs Trust, we will include - at no extra charge - a Last Will and Testament for both parents, a General Durable Power of Attorney for both parents, and an Advanced Health Care Directive for both parents - as well as other ancillary documents pertaining to special needs estate planning.

The most frequent question that I receive as an estate planning attorney is, "What will happen to my special needs child if something happens to me?" Parents specifically want to have answer to the following:

  • Where will my special needs child live?
  • Who will take care of my child on a daily basis?
  • How will my special needs child get to doctors' appointments, school, or to other activities?
  • Who will provide for my special child's housing, clothing, food, and medical needs?

There is a solution to these fears. Special needs parents have the option to designate support and protection for their child through a special needs plan in advance. Keep in mind that, unlike a healthy child, a special needs child will not be able to fend for themselves, thus making it necessary to develop an effective plan.

A proper special needs estate plan consists of a special needs trust and ancillay documents pertaining thereto as well as a last will and testament, general durable power of attorney, and a living will for each parent. Together, these documents will create financial provisions for the care and support of your child while at the same time protecting his or her government benefits.

Designating the Trustee

For your special needs trust, you will have to designate a trustee to manage it, ensuring that the trust benefits your child as per the terms and conditions of the trust. When the documents are properly implemented, the documents will guarantee that your special needs child will not lose their government benefits.

Why does my child need a trust?

A special needs trust will work alongside government benefits, allowing your child to maintain eligibility for support. Knowing that your loved one with a disability will be cared for financially and medically allows you to live at ease. Designating someone you know, love, and trust to serve as a trustee of the special needs trust is beneficial, as they can use discretion over how your money is spent to benefit your loved one.

This is helpful since the special needs individual may not be able to make financially wise decisions and the special needs trust will prevent them from losing government benefits.

Some of the benefits of a special needs trust, include:

  • All of the goods and services your special child or loved one needs will be paid for through the trust at the approval of the trustee, based on appropriate following of government guidelines.
  • Almost every type of property can be included in a special needs trust, including real estate, a business, jewelry or other valuable goods. The important thing is to ensure that your loved one has enough money to pay for their basic needs and other enjoyable pastimes.

It is important that the trustee follows the federal and state guidelines pertaining to the administration of special needs trusts to make certain that neither the trust funds nor any government benefits are compromised.

If you would like more information on how to create a properly drafted special needs trust as well as additional information on special needs estate planning, contact my law office today.