Estate Planning for Families With Special Needs

Tuesday, August 15 at 11:00 am EDT


This is a free webinar hosted by the Personal Finance and Military Caregiving concentration areas of the Military Families Learning Network.

Planning for the future is something everyone should devote substantial time and thought to but especially families with special needs. This session will explore the importance of this type of planning and decision-making. We will explore estate planning considerations across the life cycle for families with special needs. We will also discuss documents such as powers of attorney and trusts, including a revocable living trust and a special needs trust. Lastly, we will look at considerations for needs-based public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid.

How to Join the Webinar:

You may connect via the APAN Connect system or Ustream. For tech support for either system, email us at

  • APAN Connect (direct interaction with presenters and audience)

    • To get the URL for the webinar, register in the grey box at the top-right of this page

    • Go mobile by viewing on the Adobe Connect app (Android & iPhone compatible)

    • If you cannot access APAN Connect, view via YouTube Live

  • YouTube Live (broadcast only, limited interaction)

Visit our How to Join page for full information on viewing options and troubleshooting tips.


Dr. Martie Gillen is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist for the Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences, in the Institute for Food and Agricultural at the University of Florida. She joined the Department in June, 2011. Her appointment is 70% teaching and 30% Extension. She has a BA in Business Administration from Morehead State University and a MBA from Sullivan University. She earned her Doctorate in Family Studies from the University of Kentucky. She also earned a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Gillen teaches the undergraduate research methods course and graduate courses in the areas of personal and family finance including income tax, retirement and estate planning, and insurance. She also serves as the faculty advisor to the UF Rotaract Club.

Dr. Gillen serves as the co-leader of the Family Financial Management priority work group. Her Extension work focuses on promoting healthy financial behaviors among families throughout the life cycle. In collaboration with county faculty, she has developed curricula and Extension publications. Dr. Gillen’s Extension programming includes Women and Money: Unique Issues and Small Steps to Health and WealthTM for Older Adults. Women and Money begins by establishing the unique financial issues, then this multi-session curriculum builds on financial organization, money communication, goal setting, asset protection, estate planning, and concludes with retirement. The Small Steps to Health and WealthTM for Older Adults curriculum is the older-adults component to the Small Steps to Health and Wealth TM (SSHW) program developed by Rutgers University. The older-adults component of the SSHW program, developed by Dr. Gillen, is designed motivate older adults to improve their lives through behavior change strategies (small steps) for both health and financial management.

Dr. Gillen’s research interests include personal and family finance, behavioral economics, older adults, Social Security retirement benefits, employment, retirement planning, financial social work, food security, and innovative post-secondary education models.

In addition to her academic work, Dr. Gillen has assisted the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program by preparing tax returns for low-income families and taught tax law to volunteers. She has also served as a grant reviewer and invited presenter for United Way.


Martie Gillen

Created by Molly Herndon


Primary Audience: Not Set