2017 Workshops are now being scheduled. Visit our Workshops page for more info...

Legal Specialties for Children and Adults with Disabilities and Their Families

Click on any of the substantive legal specialties below to learn more.

Publications and other resource material for families and professionals.

Robert H. Farley, Jr. writes and publishes on disability and disability law regularly. Below is a sampling of currently available articles and publications.

Click here to view more on our main publications page.

Publications and articles are available for reprint by not-for-profit agencies and parents groups; please see reprint requirements on our publications page.

Workshops, Seminars and Presentations

Robert H. Farley, Jr. is available to speak to parents groups, organizations, and agencies on a wide variety of issues related to disability advocacy and disability services. Popular topics include:

  • Adult Services for Developmentally Disabled Persons
  • Waiting List for Services: Fact or Fiction

Click here to visit our main workshops page.

video snaphot of Mr. Farley speaking

Click here to view video of Mr.
Farley's presentation, Obtaining Funding or Services for Children & Adults with DD in the State of Illinois.

Protecting Assets and Assuring Quality of Life for Loved Ones with Disabilities

Special Needs Trusts allow parents — or anyone — to direct money, gifts, lawsuit settlements, or other funds to the trust without the beneficiary losing eligibility for certain government programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Trusts may be used to supplement those items or services not covered by public funds, and, if sufficiently funded, can also provide spending money for quality-of-life enhancing expenses. Absent the trust, the individual with disabilities may be required to exhaust any inheritance or other assets before becoming eligible for government benefits, or may be required to use these funds to reimburse the government for care and expenses.

Special needs trusts are frequently created by a parent or other family member for a child with special needs, even though the child may be an adult by the time the trust is funded or needed. Such trusts can also be set up in a will as a way to leave assets, including life insurance benefits if the trust is designated as the beneficiary, to a disabled relative.

"Self-settled" trusts are another form of special needs trust that may be established by individuals who become disabled as the result of an accident or medical malpractice and later receive the proceeds of a personal injury award or settlement.

It is very important that the attorney who drafts the Special Needs Trust has specific experience in the area and does not draft the typical trust which families typically use in their estate planning. If not structured properly, the individual's assets may render them ineligible for SSI or Medicaid and could lead to government agencies seeking judgments against parents and guardians for the past costs of publicly financed health care and cash benefits.

Attorney Robert H. Farley, Jr. has specialized experience planning and developing special needs trusts to protect assets and improve the quality of life of individuals with disabilities.