DEAR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA…

2021-07-21T15:36:42-04:00

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of the Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Edward Wilcenski, Esq., a founding partner of the law firm of Wilcenski & Pleat, PLLC in Clifton Park, New York. He practices in the areas of Special Needs Planning, Elder Law, and Trust and Estate Planning and Administration. Ed is a past President of the Special Needs Alliance, and writes and lectures frequently on issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families

Long-time readers of The Voice know that we rarely repeat an issue. In the world of disability there are many important topics to choose from, so the challenge has really been in deciding which topics are of most interest to our readers rather than finding something interesting in the first place. Because the Voice has many new readers each year, we know that many of our current readers may have missed this article when it first appeared in November of 2010. With this in mind, we’ve decided to reprint this article written by Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq. hoping that it may catch newer readers before they make their final decisions on how to make holiday gifts to their family members and friends with disabilities.

DEAR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA…2021-07-21T15:36:42-04:00

Customizable Visa Card Offers Flexibility to Beneficiaries

2021-01-11T11:27:29-05:00

This installment of The Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Stephen W. Dale, Esq., founder of The Dale Law Firm, PC, in Pacheco, California. His practice focuses on estate planning, and he is an ardent advocate for disability rights. He is a frequent national speaker on a wide range of disability topics, and has received both the Powley Award and Theresa Foundation Award in recognition of his work on behalf of individuals with special needs. He is a board member with the Arc of California, a trustee with the Golden State Pooled Trust, and legal counsel for True Link Financial.

Customizable Visa Card Offers Flexibility to Beneficiaries

Customizable Visa Card Offers Flexibility to Beneficiaries2021-01-11T11:27:29-05:00

Taxes Can Get Complicated for Families with Special Needs

2021-01-22T15:57:45-05:00

This post was authored by Robert F. Brogan, CELA, president of the Brogan Law Group, with offices in Brick and Manchester, New Jersey. He focuses on special needs planning, elder law and asset protection. He is a member of the SNA Board of Directors. It’s time to think about taxes, which can be complicated for families [...]

Taxes Can Get Complicated for Families with Special Needs2021-01-22T15:57:45-05:00

Should a Special Needs Trust Pay for Medical Marijuana?

2021-01-11T11:20:57-05:00

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Kyle Moore, Esq., who practices with the law firm of Weems, Schimpf, Haines, Shemwell & Moore, in Shreveport, Louisiana. He focuses on special needs planning, elder law and estate planning.

Requirements for Reprinting this Article: The below article may be reprinted only if it appears unmodified, including both the author description above the title and the "About this Newsletter" paragraph immediately following the article, accompanied by the following statement: "Reprinted with permission of the Special Needs Alliance - www.specialneedsalliance.org."

Should a Special Needs Trust Pay for Medical Marijuana?2021-01-11T11:20:57-05:00

Is Self-Employment Right for You?

2021-01-14T16:39:42-05:00

This post was co-authored by John S. Kitchen, Esq., and Janet Lowder, CELA. John has law offices in Auburn and Laconia, New Hampshire. His practice areas include special needs trusts (SNTs), powers of attorney, wills and revocable trusts for individuals who have a family member or friend with disabilities. Janet’s firm is headquartered in Cleveland, with several other offices throughout the state. She focuses on estate planning for the elderly and for individuals with special needs and is recognized for her knowledge of Medicaid.

Is Self-Employment Right for You?2021-01-14T16:39:42-05:00

When Should a Special Needs Trust Be Updated?

2021-01-11T11:14:01-05:00

By Daniel Surprenant, CELA Special needs trusts (SNTs) are financial instruments designed to enhance quality of life for individuals with disabilities by supplementing the government benefits available to them. Assets held in SNTs aren’t counted when determining an individual’s eligibility for means-tested public programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Since personal circumstances [...]

When Should a Special Needs Trust Be Updated?2021-01-11T11:14:01-05:00

SNA and ANRC Partner on ABLE Education

2021-01-11T11:13:48-05:00

The Special Needs Alliance (SNA) and ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) have agreed to collaborate on efforts to educate individuals with disabilities, their families and other stakeholders on how ABLE accounts and special needs trusts (SNTs) can contribute to improved quality of life. Funds held in either instrument, if properly used, are not considered countable [...]

SNA and ANRC Partner on ABLE Education2021-01-11T11:13:48-05:00

SNA and ANRC Partner on ABLE Education

2021-01-11T11:13:44-05:00

The Special Needs Alliance (SNA) and ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) have agreed to collaborate on efforts to educate individuals with disabilities, their families and other stakeholders on how ABLE accounts and special needs trusts (SNTs) can contribute to improved quality of life. Funds held in either instrument, if properly used, are not considered countable [...]

SNA and ANRC Partner on ABLE Education2021-01-11T11:13:44-05:00

The Impact of Tax Reform on Special Needs Planning

2021-01-11T11:12:14-05:00

By James McCarten, Esq. As a 2017 holiday present to taxpayers, Congress passed tax legislation that your representatives, senators and many tax professionals have described as the most significant overhaul of our tax laws since 1986, when President Ronald Reagan's tax bill was passed. What follows is an overview of those provisions of what was [...]

The Impact of Tax Reform on Special Needs Planning2021-01-11T11:12:14-05:00

Should You Transfer 529 College Savings to an ABLE Account?

2021-01-11T11:11:22-05:00

By Robert B. Fleming, CELA ABLE accounts are relatively new savings options open to certain individuals with disabilities. As long as the funds are used “to improve the beneficiary’s health, independence of quality of life,” earnings aren’t taxed and eligibility for means-tested government programs won’t be affected. Now, families who previously established 529 college savings [...]

Should You Transfer 529 College Savings to an ABLE Account?2021-01-11T11:11:22-05:00

Crowdfunding Should Be Handled with Care

2021-01-11T11:08:28-05:00

By Stephen W. Dale, Esq. Crowdfunding, with websites such as GoFundMe, has increasingly been used to raise money on behalf of individuals with disabilities. In such cases, family, friends and members of the general public want to help pay for medical treatments, home renovations or the many other expenses faced by someone with special needs [...]

Crowdfunding Should Be Handled with Care2021-01-11T11:08:28-05:00

Changing Attitudes Towards Guardianship

2021-01-11T11:08:12-05:00

By Scott Suzuki, Esq. Laws have to apply to everyone and this rigid standard can cause problems when dealing with the issue of "legal capacity," because capacity can’t be measured by a single standard. Someone may be perfectly capable of managing some daily tasks but may need assistance with others. For example, a person may [...]

Changing Attitudes Towards Guardianship2021-01-11T11:08:12-05:00

Avoiding SSI Reductions When An Adult With Disabilities Lives With Family

2021-01-11T11:07:30-05:00

By Neal A. Winston, CELA When individuals with disabilities live with family members, it can complicate their eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Since SSI’s monthly cash payments are meant to pay for food and shelter, contributions from others for such living expenses may reduce SSI or could disqualify the beneficiary completely. With planning, that [...]

Avoiding SSI Reductions When An Adult With Disabilities Lives With Family2021-01-11T11:07:30-05:00

ABLE Accounts and SNTs: How to Choose?

2021-01-11T11:04:57-05:00

The “ABLE” account is a relatively new planning tool that offers an individual with disabilities a tax-free savings option (similar to a 529 College Savings Plan) that does not interfere with the individual’s eligibility for means-tested government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Special needs trusts (SNTs) are well-established savings tools that [...]

ABLE Accounts and SNTs: How to Choose?2021-01-11T11:04:57-05:00

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) – How to Open an ABLE Account

2021-01-11T11:02:53-05:00

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Pacheco, California, Special Needs Alliance member Stephen W. Dale of The Dale Law Firm, PC. Steve is a disability rights advocate and attorney dedicated to providing quality estate planning. He is a frequent speaker on a variety of disability related topics across the country. Steve regularly teaches courses to the public, financial professionals, and other attorneys on special needs trusts and trust administration. Additionally, he serves as the trustee for the Golden State Pooled Trust. Steve offers numerous videos and handouts to the public and his colleagues at www.achievingindependence.com.

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) – How to Open an ABLE Account2021-01-11T11:02:53-05:00

ABLE Implementation: Fall 2016 Update

2021-01-11T11:01:34-05:00

By Taylor Woodard MPAff & MSSW, Program Associate, The Arc There have been numerous developments in ABLE programs since the enactment of the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014. With this piece of legislation, lawmakers made it possible for some individuals with disabilities with onset prior to age 26 [...]

ABLE Implementation: Fall 2016 Update2021-01-11T11:01:34-05:00

Expanding ABLE: Three Bills to Improve the ABLE Program

2021-01-11T11:01:30-05:00

By Taylor Woodard MPAff & MSSW, Program Associate, The Arc The Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act authorizes tax-advantaged savings accounts for some people with disabilities and their families. Modeled after the existing qualified tuition (529) accounts, these accounts allow for more individual choice and control over spending, while protecting eligibility [...]

Expanding ABLE: Three Bills to Improve the ABLE Program2021-01-11T11:01:30-05:00

When Should You Consider a Pooled Trust?

2021-01-11T11:01:12-05:00

By Janet Lowder, CELA, and Elena Lidrbauch, CELA Directly receiving a personal injury settlement, inheritance or other sizable sum of money can derail the finances of someone with disabilities. That's because having more than $2,000 in resources makes them ineligible for means-tested government programs such as Medicaid and SSI (Supplemental Security Income), which may be [...]

When Should You Consider a Pooled Trust?2021-01-11T11:01:12-05:00

How to Open an ABLE Account

2021-01-11T10:59:19-05:00

By Stephen W. Dale, Esq. The first ABLE programs have been launched in Florida, Nebraska, Ohio and Tennessee, and three of them welcome applicants from other states. Since accounts can be rolled over from one state to another, families throughout the U.S. may want to begin exploring their options now. ABLE accounts, which grow tax-free, [...]

How to Open an ABLE Account2021-01-11T10:59:19-05:00

Special Needs Trusts and Federal Student Aid

2021-01-11T10:57:56-05:00

By Christopher W. Smith, Esq. When a special needs trust (SNT) is being set up, families are typically most concerned about government benefit programs like Medicaid and Social Security. But how might an SNT impact an individual's ability to receive federal financial aid for college? The answer is surprisingly gray. Let's first state the obvious. [...]

Special Needs Trusts and Federal Student Aid2021-01-11T10:57:56-05:00

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