Special Needs Trusts and Federal Student Aid

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. [...]


Income Taxes and Special Needs

This installment of the Voice was written by Robert B. Fleming, CELA. Robert is a partner in Fleming & Curti, PLC, a Tucson law firm focusing on special needs planning, trust administration, guardianship/conservatorship and estate planning. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and also of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has been a member of the Special Needs Alliance since its founding, and was one of the original co-authors of the SNA's Handbook for Trustees, the free online guide to managing special needs trusts.


Implementing the ABLE Act

By John Ariale, Esq., Guest Blogger One year ago, the chances for passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act seemed bleak. However, for those of us advocating for its passage, our lame duck strategy worked, and the ABLE Act was signed into law on December 19, 2014. The intent behind ABLE was [...]


The ABLE Act – A New Tool for Special Needs Planning

If you want to set aside money for the education of a child (or a grandchild, or anyone else), you can choose from a variety of options. One popular choice is to establish a "529 Plan" fund. These education accounts are named after the tax code section authorizing their use, and they make it easy [...]


SNTs, Qualified Disability Trusts and ABLE Accounts: Slashing Tax Liability

By Ron M. Landsman, Esq. Special needs trusts (SNTs) enable funds to be saved on behalf of an individual with disabilities without affecting their eligibility for means-tested programs such as SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and Medicaid. Since income generated within trusts is often subject to high tax rates, it’s sometimes assumed that the same is [...]


Crossing State Lines

Special Needs Planning for Moving to a New State By Wendy H. Sheinberg, CELA No one enjoys moving; it's hard work and involves lots of detail (not to mention all of those boxes). Managing the transition for someone with special needs can be difficult; it's wise to begin planning as soon as you begin seriously [...]


New Savings Accounts May Fund Care for Individuals with Disabilities

By Morris Klein, CELA In December, amidst much euphoria, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the ABLE Act of 2014 (Achieving a Better Life Experience). ABLE empowers states to create programs enabling individuals with certain disabilities to establish tax-free savings accounts modeled after the popular 529 college savings plans that, if used for [...]


Congress Passes ABLE Act

Savings Accounts to Fund Care for Individuals with Disabilities With overwhelming support, Congress has passed the ABLE Act of 2014 (Achieving a Better Life Experience), providing a new opportunity for qualified individuals with special needs and disabilities to have tax-free savings accounts that will support their health and independence while preserving their means-tested government benefits. [...]