40 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 305 (1978-1979)
Estate Planning for Parents of Mentally Disabled Children

handle is hein.journals/upitt40 and id is 315 raw text is: ,lIyiI tIT1111
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VOLUME 40                    SPRING 1979                  NUMBER 3
ESTATE PLANNING FOR PARENTS OF MENTALLY
DISABLED CHILDREN*
Lawrence A. Frolik**
Effective estate planning requires imaginative responses to the par-
ticular needs of the client. Never is there a greater need for such
planning than when the client indicates that he or she is the parent
of a mentally disabled child. Estate planning for parents of the
mentally disabled requires knowledge of fundamental estate plan-
ning techniques combined with an awareness of the particular op-
portunities and needs of the mentally disabled. Chief among these
is the fact that most mentally disabled children are or will be eligi-
ble to receive federal and state benefits. Effective estate planning
for a mentally disabled beneficiary requires that the lawyer inte-
grate the estate plan with those federal and state benefits.
The thesis of this Article is that estate planning for parents of
the mentally disabled requires carefully drafted trust instruments
which grant sufficient discretion to a capable trustee to allow flexi-
bility for the unforeseen needs of a disabled child. Moreover, the
* Copyright 1979 by Lawrence A. Frolik. All rights reserved. No part maybe reproduced
without permission of the author.
** Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law. B.A., 1966, Nebraska;
J.D., 1969, LL.M., 1972, Harvard.
Part of the research and writing of this Article was undertaken while the author was a
Visiting Associate Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law. The author
wishes to express his appreciation for the support of Dean John E. Cribbet, the Illinois College
of Law and the research assistance of Judith Patterson, a member of the Illinois College of
Law, class of 1980. The author particularly wishes to acknowledge the essential support and
assistance of Ilene W. Shane, Esq., Director, Developmental Disabilities Law Project, Univer-
sity of Pittsburgh School of Law.

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