Jennifer helps both modest and wealthy families plan for their loved ones’ care and security through estate planning. Jennifer especially focuses her practice on special needs trust planning and governmental benefits; advising individuals with disabilities and their loved ones as well as trustees about the eligibility requirements and objectives for special needs trusts and Able accounts. At the heart of special needs trust planning and administration is an understanding of the complex governmental program rules in place for the various benefits available to individuals with disabilities. With proper planning, recipients of these benefits can receive both distributions from trusts for their supplemental needs while also maintaining their much-needed eligibility for benefits.
Prior to joining MGD, Jennifer worked for twelve years as Claims Counsel for Wright Risk Management, a third party administrator for various insurance carriers. In this role, she managed the defense of professional liability claims against school district and municipal insureds. Her responsibilities included analyzing the defense of these claims for best possible outcomes and negotiating the resolution of appropriate claims at court-ordered mediations and settlement conferences nationwide. Upon leaving Wright, Jennifer founded a special education advocacy business to assist parents in better understanding special education regulations and to aid them in advocating well for their children. Jennifer finds she often draws upon her claims management, advocacy, and mediation skills in her special needs trust practice.
At the outset of her legal career, Jennifer served as a judicial law clerk for the Superior Court of Rhode Island and as an associate for a labor and defense firm in Providence, Rhode Island where she worked on various disability discrimination matters. She is also a former New York City teaching fellow who briefly left the practice of law to teach special education to disadvantaged children in a hard to staff school in East New York, Brooklyn.