BOOK REVIEW: Special People, Special Planning


Peggy R. Hoyt and Candace M. Pollock. Special People, Special Planning: Creating a Safe Legal Haven for Families With Special Needs (Legacy Planning Partners, Oviedo, FL: 2003). 142 pages.

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In special needs planning, there is no substitute for the services of an attorney skilled in this complex field. But families and friends of persons with special needs can help their loved one a great deal by becoming informed about their legal options. This short book, written by two estate planning attorneys, provides a highly readable overview of the fundamentals every family needs to consider when planning for the future of a person with special needs.

Estate plans for a person with special needs can take many forms and Special People, Special Planning clearly presents the alternatives for maximizing public and private resources. The heart of the book is on trusts employed to preserve assets for a special needs person. In a chapter titled "Fiduciaries, Attorneys, and other Scary People," the authors helpfully describe the roles played by the different members of a special needs planning team, explaining the difference between a fiduciary, trustee, trust protector, guardian and executor. The book devotes many pages to the role of the attorney and how to choose one, and suggests questions to ask to determine whether a particular attorney can meet your needs and offers tips on how to cooperate with the attorney once chosen.

Special People, Special Planning also covers more arcane matters such as how different kinds of trusts are taxed, and ends with a useful glossary of terms, a special needs planning expense worksheet and forms for collecting key information about the special needs person. Article Last Modified: 02/20/2007