FriedmanLaw’s elder law work helps seniors limit long term care costs and taxes, plan for retirement, get the most from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, prepare power of attorney and other legal documents, and address the many elder law issues seniors may face.

If my spouse or parent has to enter a nursing home, how can we protect assets?

Medicaid can pay for nursing home care, but it’s very hard to navigate the requirements without expert advice. We often help seniors qualify for Medicaid to fund long term care without destroying family finances. Read More

Will Medicaid help me pay for assisted living or in-home care?

Medicaid can cover assisted living and home care in certain circumstances, but you’ll need to comply with strict requirements.  Read more

What should I do if my loved one’s mental abilities deteriorate?

If your loved one becomes confused or forgetful, an intrusive and expensive guardianship could be the only option unless a Power of Attorney and Advance Healthcare Directive are in place. These documents can avoid the need for guardianship and allow you to address elder law concerns like medical and financial affairs. A Power of Attorney and Advance Healthcare Directive can only be signed by someone who still has basic mental capacity, so it is best to get started as soon as possible.  Read more

How can I get the most out of my Social Security, Medicare, or long term care insurance?

Social Security, Medicare, and long term care insurance present myriad elder law options, and expert counsel may be essential to determine which choices will most benefit you. FriedmanLaw can help you cut through the maze to maximize benefits and control costs, potentially saving you thousands of dollars.  Read more


We are particularly proud that for more than 25 years, FriedmanLaw has helped people with special needs,  developmental disability, mental illness, traumatic brain injury, and other disabilities enjoy a better quality of life. We help families use guardianships, special needs trusts, supplemental needs trusts and other tools to put in place future care protocols and preserve Medicaid, SSI, Medicare and other government benefits.  Our special needs practice also involves special education and IEP individualized education plans as well as the IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

What assistance is available to me as a person with disabilities?

Direct cash payments, medical assistance, and subsidized housing may be available. Depending on your finances, special needs, and work history, you may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD), Medicare, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) housing, SNAP (formerly food stamps) and more.  Read more

How can I keep my disability benefits if I receive money from a divorce, lawsuit, worker compensation award, inheritance or gift?

If money is paid directly to you, you can lose benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, and free DDD housing. Instead, money can be paid into a Special Needs Trust (SNT) that allows you to keep your benefits while the money is set aside for you.  Read more

What should I do if I expect a settlement or award from a personal injury lawsuit?

If you’ve been injured, government benefits may become a vital source of income to you. FriedmanLaw frequently works with other lawyers to employ Special Needs Trusts (SNT) and Medicare Set-Aside Trusts in personal injury, divorce, worker compensation and other settlements. Read More

How can I manage care for child with disabilities after she turns 18?

Your child becomes a legal adult at age 18, and has the freedom and responsibility to make her own decisions. But if your child is not capable of making serious decisions, FriedmanLaw can help you be appointed guardian and continue to care for your child. In addition, some government benefits become available to a disabled person at age 18, so it may be well worth consulting us to find out what assistance is available. Read More

What will happen to my disabled child when I no longer can take care of him?

We can help you use special needs trusts and supplemental needs trusts and provide a seamless transition from parental care to a group home or other appropriate placement for your adult disabled child. We will help you understand the process and future care options. Read More

How can I protect a loved one with mental illness that can lead to behavior issues?

Caring for a family member with mental illness can be extremely challenging. Issues can involve special needs, medication, housing, behavior, and exploitation to name just a few. Unusual and unexpected issues can develop at any time. Clearly one size can’t fit all, but we frequently apply our years of experience with special needs to help families cope with these difficult situations such as commitment, funding care, guardianship, and special needs trust planning.  Read More


We can help you create a comprehensive estate plan to transfer your estate as you choose, minimize tax, deal with a loved one’s special needs, and avoid the need for guardianship if you lose mental capacity.

Do I need a will?

A will is essential to mandate how your assets will be distributed when you die. In fact, everyone should have a will even if you already have a special needs trust or living trust. Your will can also reduce taxes; provide for a disabled loved one; preserve disability benefits, protect heirs with immaturity, addiction or creditor issues; name guardians for children, and more.  Read More

How about a living trust to avoid probate?

While living trusts can be useful for some purposes, New Jersey has an extremely simple and inexpensive probate system. Probate often costs less than avoiding probate with a living trust, and a living trust can prove inconvenient to maintain.  Read More

Will my beneficiaries face estate or inheritance tax?

In New Jersey, if you leave money to anyone other than your spouse, parents, or descendants, you may face death taxes. New Jersey eliminated estate tax after 2017 but budget issues may intervene to bring it back. In any event New Jersey inheritance tax is still with us.  Nevertheless, we can employ various tools to minimize tax and pass more money to your heirs. Read More

How can I protect my family if I become incapacitated?

If you lose the ability to make decisions (e.g. a coma or advanced Alzheimer’s), your loved ones may not be able to plan for you financially, pay your bills or even get information on your medical condition and it may be too late to prepare optimal elder law or estate planning documents like special needs trusts. With a Power of Attorney, Advance Healthcare Directive, and comprehensive estate plan, you can protect your family and yourself by giving a trusted loved one the power to manage your medical and financial affairs if you are no longer able to. Read More

How can my estate plan provide for both my spouse and children from a prior marriage?

Your surviving spouse may have legal rights to disinherit your children unless you provide otherwise in your estate plan. In fact, because wills can be changed at any time, children from prior marriages may risk being disinherited even if you and your spouse initially agree to provide for each other’s children. Options range from simply trusting your spouse to be fair to your children, to providing for your children with life insurance, entering into a contract to make a will, or leaving a QTIP or other kind of trust to provide for your surviving spouse and guaranty an inheritance for your children. Read More

How can I use SNTs (supplemental needs trusts or special needs trusts) to protect government benefits for my disabled child?

FriedmanLaw frequently prepares SNTs (supplemental needs trusts and special needs trusts), which allow a parent, grandparent, or sibling to set aside his/her funds or litigation awards for a disabled person without jeopardizing government disability benefits. Read More

What are my responsibilities if I’m appointed as a Trustee or Guardian?

You must comply with strict rules designed to protect trust beneficiaries and wards. If you don’t act responsibly, you could incur liability. We can help you understand and meet your obligations as a Trustee or Guardian. Read More

I’m the Executor to an estate; what should I do?

You may have to become bonded, calculate taxes, file returns, obtain release and refunding bonds from beneficiaries, make claims to financial institutions, determine when to make distributions, and more. We are here to help, and will walk you through estate administration from start to finish. Read More


  • Preserve savings against nursing home and other long term care costs.
  • Avoid impoverishment when a spouse needs nursing home, assisted living, or other long term care
  • Compare options to obtain long term care in a nursing home, assisted living, or private home and pay via Medicaid, long term care insurance, or otherwise
  • Evaluate and negotiate nursing home, assisted living, continuing care retirement community, and other contracts
  • Draw wills and trusts that minimize taxes, direct assets to desired beneficiaries, and protect children of prior marriages from being disinherited by a surviving spouse
  • Establish and administer a trust, estate, or guardianship
  • Use special needs trusts (a.k.a. supplemental needs trusts or supplemental benefits trusts) to maintain disability benefits when settling a malpractice or other personal injury claim or developing an estate plan
  • Obtain quality special education and transition upon graduation
  • Obtain Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) housing and other benefits
  • Qualify for Medicaid, home care, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, Social Security Disability (SSD), housing assistance (Section 8 and other aid), and other programs
  • Use powers of attorney, health care directives, and guardianships to allow loved ones to make decisions when mental faculties decline and seek Medicaid to fund care
  • Buy, sell, refinance, obtain a reverse mortgage, or retain a life estate in a home
  • Please contact us for any legal need as we show above only some of the services we provide. If we can’t handle your issue, we probably can refer you to quality counsel who can.


As this website provides general information and isn’t tailored to your particular situation, it doesn’t constitute legal advice and may not take into account rules and exceptions that affect you. Although updated from time to time, this website may not take account of recent legal developments or differences in laws from state to state. For safety sake, obtain individual legal advice before you act! You assume all risk of acting on information contained in this website. This website doesn’t constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship exists unless FriedmanLaw and you execute a written engagement agreement. Please contact us at 908-704-1900 to discuss engaging FriedmanLaw to help resolve your legal concerns.
Homepage photo: Cows grazing at Meadowbrook Farm, Bernardsville, NJ by Siddharth Mallya. October 23, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Autumn_Leaves_13.jpg.
Interior photo: Somerset hills pastoral scene by Lawrence Friedman.