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About me

Most websites, including AVVO, have no category for "special needs".

Special needs families comprise about 80% of our clients. When we talk about Special Needs, we are generally referring to family members who have had some kind of disability or challenge since birth or perhaps even from young adulthood. Disabilities don't discriminate: our Special Needs  families come in all kinds, from the wealthy to the financially struggling.

About 10% of our caseload is straight elder law (with no special needs, other than the elders themselves) and about 10% is straight estate planning, with no particular special needs or elder law issues. But, a high percentage of our Special Needs families also have either primary or secondary elder law issues in the mix, and just about all of our Special Needs families have estate planning needs - indeed, more significant estate planning needs than many other clients.

To serve them, as well as our other clients, we must bring to the table the highest level of skills and knowledge in estate planning, estate tax planning, income tax planning, trust drafting, asset protection, public benefits, trust administration, courtroom skills, negotiating skills, skills in dealing with a variety of government agencies, a deep knowledge of public and private resources to solve client problems, and an experienced-based practical bent for helping clients solve their problems, from how to transition a special-needs teenager to young adulthood, to keeping up with the changing needs of an elderly parent, to everything in between.

Attorneys Hines and Worthington have walked the walk. Between them they have raised a 23 year old daughter who was debilitatingly ill with chronic Lyme disease for 6 years, and a 17 year old daughter who was severely disabled since birth who passed away in 2013. They are also raising a 14 year old.


Practice areas


  1. Estate Planning: 50%
    24 years
  2. Elder Law: 50%
    24 years

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Contact info

Special Needs Law Group of Massachusetts, P.C.

20 Speen Street, Suite 101
Framingham, MA, 01701


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV Preeminent RatedMartindale-Hubbell2016
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2015
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2014
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2013
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2012
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2011
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2010
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2009
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2008
Admitted to practice since 2007United States Supreme Court2007
Outstanding Chapter Member, MassachusettsNational Academy of Elder Law Attorneys2004
Certified Elder Law Attorney 2004 to dateNational Elder Law Foundation, a private non-profit whose standards for certification are not regulated by the Comm of Mass2004
Member of the YearNational Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Massachusetts Chapter2003
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Professor and Director of LLM Program Elder Law & Estate PlanWestern New England University School of Law2016 - Present
Senior CounselSpecial Needs Law Group of Massachusetts, PC2013 - Present
Adjunct ProfessorNortheastern University School Of Law2012 - 2016
Of CounselOppenheim & Cole, LLC2010 - 2013
PartnerSmith Worthington, LLC2007 - 2010
Adjunct ProfessorWestern New England College School Of Law2005 - 2016
AttorneyLaw Office of Mark W. Worthington1992 - 2007
Association namePosition nameDuration
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Massachusetts Chapter)Member1995 - Present
National Academy of Elder Law AttorneysMember1995 - Present
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Massachusetts chapter)Past President2008 - 2008
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Massachusetts chapter)President2007 - 2007
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Massachusetts chapter)President-Elect2006 - 2006
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Massachusetts chapter)Treasurer2003 - 2005
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Massachusetts chapter)Board of Directors2000 - 2002
Publication nameTitleDate
Trusts & EstatesNew Rules for Home Sales are Surprisingly Pro-Taxpayer2003
Estates, Gifts and Trusts JournalLast Chance for Tax Free Sales?1998
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Boston University School of LawTaxationLL.M - Master of Laws2004
Northeastern University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1991
University of RochesterElectrical EngineeringBS - Bachelor of Science1980
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
MCLE Inc - Annual Disability and Elder Law Conference (May 4, 2016)Selected Topics on Tax and Trusts2016
ALI-CLE Annual Conference on Representing Estate and Trust Beneficiaries and Fiduciaries (Chicago, July 7 & 8, 2016)Administering Special Needs Trusts (with Attorney Annette M. Hines)2016
Suffolk University School of Law - Elder Law Institute XXI (April 10, 2015)Dissecting Trust Agreements – What Makes Them Work?2015
Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law - Law and Aging Seminar (Visiting Lecturer, March 19, 2015)Coming Soon to a State Near You? Massachusetts Medicaid’s Attack on Self-Settled Irrevocable Trusts2015
October 2014 Mass NAELA Membership MeetingIrrevocable Trusts: The Empire Strikes Back2014
MCLE, Inc Annual Elder & Disability Law ConferenceDrafting the MassHealth Applicant Settled Irrevocable Trust to Qualify for the IRC §121 Homesale Capital Gain Tax Exclusion2014
June 2014 Mass NAELA Membership MeetingThe Intersection of IRAs, SNTs, Probate, Medicaid, Income Tax, and Estate Tax2014
September 2013 Mass NAELA Membership MeetingTax Analysis of Various Types of Home Transfers by Unmarried Individuals2013
MetLife Annual Special Needs Symposium, Orlando, FL, July 31, 2013Collision at the Intersection of Retirement Plans, Life Insurance, Tax, Public Benefits, and Special Needs Trusts2013
March 2013 Bristol County Estate Planning Council Membership MeetingThe ABC's of the New Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code: What Practitioners Need to Know2013
February 2013 Southeast Mass NAELA Breakfast MeetingModerator and Presenter: Recent Developments in Massachusetts Elder Law2013
November 2012 Mass NAELA Membership MeetingModerator and Panelist: “The New Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code2012
March 1 2012 Southeast Mass NAELA Breakfast MeetingModerator - Community Housing Options for the Elderly & Disabled2012
Feb 9 2012 - Suffolk University Law School - Fundamentals of Elder and Special Needs LawAdvanced Directives (substituting for Leslie Madge)2012
Feb 23 2012 - Suffolk University Law School - Fundamentals of Elder and Special Needs LawTaxation of Special Needs Trusts2012
April 2010 New Hampshire Bar Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate Law Section MeetingNew England State Estate Taxes2010
June 2009 Mass NAELA Membership MeetingDrafting Irrevocable Trusts in the Wake of the Doherty Decision2009
MCLE, Inc Annual Elder & Disability Law ConferenceThird-Party SNTs as Death Beneficiaries of IRAs and Qualified Retirement Plans2008
Stetson University College of Law — Special Needs Trusts Conference IXDivorce American Style – The Collision of Taxation and Public Benefits with SNTs for Property Division, Child Support, and Alimony2007
MCLE, Inc seminarPreserving and Transferring the Principal Residence2007
Suffolk University Law School – Elder Law Institute XII: Third-Party Supplemental Needs TrustsTaxation of Third-Party Supplemental Needs Trusts; also Conference Chair2006
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Institute (Salt Lake City)The Impact of the Uniform Trust Code on Third-Party Supplemental Needs Trusts2006
January 2003 Mass NAELA Membership MeetingMeet the New MAET (Massachusetts Estate Tax)2003
June 2002 Mass NAELA Membership MeetingTaxation of Jointly Held Property2002
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Institute (St. Louis)Income Tax Consequences of Various Types of Home Transfers2001
February 2000 Mass NAELA Membership MeetingRetained and Donated Powers of Appointment: Income Taxes and Selected Topics, Pitfalls, & Opportunities2000
National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys Conference (Atlanta, GA)What You Thought You Knew About Some Estate & Gift Tax Basics1996