While people are enjoying longer lives than ever, advanced age and the desire to preserve family assets frequently brings with it significant legal and financial questions and issues. Similarly, individuals with special needs, and their families, are challenged to find legal solutions when creating a care management system and securing the resources to provide for their lifetime care and support.
At Schenck Price, we protect the legal rights and financial resources of, and advocate for, seniors and those with disabilities, as well as the families that care for them. Our lawyers advise clients in connection with planning for aging, illness, incapacity, disability, and the costs and repercussions of long-term care. Families with children who have serious and permanent disabilities face unique challenges, especially as those children become adults and the parents age and face the prospect of providing care and financial support for their children after they are gone. For these families, estate planning typically involves providing for the child’s needs without jeopardizing their eligibility for needs-based governmental benefits.
We see our responsibility as helping our clients identify the issues or problems they are confronting, finding solutions tailored to their particular needs and providing them with the security and peace of mind that they deserve. In addition to our knowledge and experience in this field, because of the size and scope of our practice, we are able to draw on colleagues within our firm with knowledge and experience in other relevant areas of the law, including tax and employment.
Our team aims to protect our client’s family, preserve their assets and provide for the care that all members of the family need. Our attorneys have long focused in these areas of the law and are widely recognized in their field, speaking frequently on related topics, teaching other practitioners and holding positions of leadership in the profession. We have:
- Been certified as Elder Law Attorneys by the National Elder Law Foundation
- Been invited to join the exclusive, national Special Needs Alliance
- Co-founded and have held leadership positions – including the presidency – in both the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and its New Jersey chapter
- Been recognized by the Senate and General Assembly of New Jersey in a joint resolution for service to those with special needs
- Been repeatedly recognized by NJBIZ, New Jersey Monthly and the New Jersey Law Journal as top lawyers in our field
- Been added to the invitation-only NAELA Council of Advanced Practitioners
- Served as trustees of the Guardianship Association of New Jersey, Inc.
- Served on the Elder Law Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
- Spoken on relevant topics before professional organizations such as NAELA, NBI and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
At Schenck Price, we understand that clients and their families frequently turn to us at particularly challenging times in their lives. We recognize the emotional toll this can take and do whatever it takes to provide assistance, guidance and support with sensitivity and care.
Services to Clients
Our attorneys assist their clients in a variety of ways, including:
- Advising clients about and preparing personal and financial management vehicles such as living wills, health care proxies, general durable powers of attorney, and revocable and irrevocable trusts
- Advising clients regarding asset protection and government benefits such as Medicaid, Medicare, Veterans benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that are available to a child with disabilities or to themselves in the event of their own incapacity. We advise clients about lifetime gifts, irrevocable trusts and family business entities in connection with asset protection, and the appropriate use of long-term custodial care insurance
- Counseling clients with a minor or adult child with disabilities in the areas of long-term care planning together with asset protection planning for lifetime care and support of the person with disabilities through an appropriate special needs trust
AlertsNov 24, 2020DDD Issues Holiday Visitation GuidanceOct 27, 2020IRS Issues Final Regulations Regarding Hierarchy Over Creation and Signatories of ABLE AccountsApr 9, 2020Guardianships During the Covid-19 CrisisAug 13, 2019Ban on Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements Lifted, Raising New Concerns for Residents and Their FamiliesJun 18, 2018New Jersey Introduces NJ ABLE ProgramJan 15, 2018ABLE Act Changes in 2018Dec 13, 2016Special Needs Trust Fairness Act
ArticlesDecember 12, 2022Lauren Mechaly, Shirley B. Whitenack, Regina Spielberg, and Jordan Wassel Contribute to the Elder Law Edition of New Jersey LawyerMay 16, 2022Crowdfunding for Individuals with Special NeedsAug 27, 2021Planning for Your Special Needs Child's FutureOct 14, 2020Guardianships During COVID-19Aug 5, 2019Directed Trusts: A Primer on the Bifurcation of Trust Powers, Duties, and Liabilities in Special Needs PlanningJul 29, 2019Shirley Berger Whitenack, 2019 Medal of Honor Winner Who Found Meaning in Helping PeopleSep 20, 2018Kicked Out of Assisted Living: What You Can Do
NewsApril 12, 2022Whitenack Named Fellow of the American Bar FoundationApr 11, 2022Julie Cross Joins Schenck PriceJun 14, 2021Judiciary Working Group on Elder JusticeMar 13, 20202020 Edition of New Jersey Super LawyersSep 17, 2019New Jersey State Bar Foundation's Medal of HonorJun 27, 2019Morris County's "Top Lawyers 2019"May 29, 2018New Jersey Supreme CourtMar 8, 2018Edwards Joins NAELA BoardFeb 2, 2018New Ways to Prevent Elder Financial AbuseDec 18, 2017What Assets Count for Medicaid?May 9, 2017Long-Term Planning for a Special Needs ChildApr 27, 2017Edwards and Kats-Chalfant RecognizedDec 7, 2016SPSK Attorney Quoted in MarketWatchOct 27, 2016Help For a Disinherited Loved OneOct 14, 2016What Seniors Should Know About Joint AccountsJul 5, 2016Does an Executor need to be in NJ?Jul 1, 2016Special Accounts for the DisabledFeb 10, 2016Special Needs and the Affordable Care ActJan 13, 2016What Steps to Take When You Lose a WillDec 2, 2015Coping with Aging's Costliest ChallengeSep 10, 2015How to Get a Social Security Lump Sum BenefitMar 15, 2015A Tool in the Elder Law ToolboxMar 10, 2015Long-term planning for a disabled child
EventsFebruary 9, 2023Shirley B. Whitenack to Present at NJICLE's "Understanding Special Needs Trusts" WebinarJanuary 19, 2023Shirley B. Whitenack to Present "Modifying Irrevocable Trusts"January 9, 2023Lauren Mechaly to Present a Financial Planning Workshop in Coordination with the Friendship CircleDecember 8, 2022Gary Mazart, Shirley Whitenack, and Jordan Wassel to Present at the 24th Annual Elder and Disability Law SymposiumOct 25, 2022Mechaly to Speak on Special Needs TrustsMay 14, 2022Whitenack to Appear as Panelist at the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Past Presidents' 2022 Case Law UpdateMay 12, 2022Whitenack to Speak on Fiduciary RepresentationApr 20, 2022Whitenack to Speak on "The Ethics of Suicide"May 5, 2021Special Needs Trusts and ABLE AccountsMay 4, 2021Know Who to Call BEFORE a CrisisApr 30, 2021Lessons Learned from the PandemicApr 27, 2021Planning for Long Term CareMar 31, 2021Vaccinated...Now What?Mar 26, 2021National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)Feb 19, 2021How to Reduce Fiduciary Litigation RisksDec 17, 2020Caring for the Elderly During COVID-19Dec 10, 2020Non-Grantor Trusts in Elder Law PlanningDec 1, 202022nd Annual Elder & Disability Law SymposiumNov 24, 202011th Annual Probate SymposiumOct 15, 2020The SNT Trustee as a "Super" FiduciaryOct 5, 2020Terminating Special Needs TrustsJul 30, 2020Ethics for Elder Law AttorneysJul 16, 2020Financial Elder Abuse and FraudJun 30, 2020COVID-19 and Managing Guardianship CasesJun 10, 2020Top Ten Tips in Special Needs PlanningMay 26, 2020Morris County Bar Association Town HallApril 30, 2020Shirley B. Whitenack to Present "Reading First- and Third-Party Trusts and Spotting Deficiencies"April 22, 2020 Shirley B. Whitenack will serve as a facilitator on the topic of "Complicated Guardianship Issues You Likely Have Never Encountered"Mar 19,2020Patient and Client Safety in a COVID 19 World: Legal and Practical Demands on Elder Care Facilities and Lawyers