Preparing trusts and Probate for Special Needs People in Illinois


Navigating Trusts and Probate for Special Needs Individuals in Illinois: Insights from Collins Disability Law

Introduction At Collins Disability Law, based in Chicago, we understand the complexities involved in preparing trusts and probate for individuals with special needs. This process is essential for ensuring their long-term welfare and security. Here, we’ll explore key considerations and effective strategies to manage these legal frameworks, ensuring peace of mind for families across Illinois.

Understanding Special Needs Trusts

A special needs trust is a crucial legal tool designed to benefit an individual who has a disability. These trusts allow assets to be held on behalf of a disabled person without affecting their eligibility for essential government benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Setting up a special needs trust requires meticulous attention to detail and deep understanding of both federal and state regulations.

In Illinois, the type of trust chosen can significantly impact the future well-being of the person with special needs. For instance, a ‘Third-Party Special Needs Trust’ is funded by someone other than the beneficiary and does not require payback to the state upon the beneficiary’s death. Conversely, a ‘First-Party Special Needs Trust’, funded with the beneficiary’s own assets, often necessitates reimbursement to the state for the care provided.

Probate Considerations

When it comes to probate — the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate — special considerations must be made for those with disabilities. At Collins Disability Law, we guide families through this complex procedure, ensuring that the individual’s disability and needs are carefully considered in the distribution of assets and the overall administration of the estate.

One of the most significant aspects of probate for special needs individuals is the appointment of a guardian or a conservator, if necessary. This is especially critical if the individual has not previously established their own power of attorney. The chosen representative will make decisions that align with the individual’s best interests, in both health and financial matters.

Legal Guidance and Support

Preparing trusts and navigating the probate process can be daunting for families. At Collins Disability Law, our expertise is in providing tailored legal solutions that uphold the rights and needs of special needs individuals. From drafting the appropriate trust to ensure it complies with Illinois law, to supporting families through the probate process, our firm is dedicated to making legal proceedings as smooth as possible.


Families in Illinois looking for support in setting up trusts or navigating probate for their loved ones with special needs can count on Collins Disability Law for comprehensive legal assistance. Our commitment is to provide empathetic, expert legal services that safeguard the interests of special needs individuals, helping them to live fulfilling lives without jeopardizing their vital benefits.

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Contact Us To learn more about how Collins Disability Law can assist with special needs trusts and probate in Illinois, please contact our office. We’re here to help guide you through these vital decisions with professionalism and care.