Bullying of the Special Needs Child and What Parents Can Do

Any child can be a victim of bullying or harassment, but research has shown that children with special needs are both more likely to be bullied or harassed and also more likely to be seriously harmed by it. In addition, children with special needs may be less likely to be able to seek help to [...]

2022-03-15T11:01:06-04:00

Recommended Books for the Special Needs Community

As lawyers in elder and disability practices, Special Needs Alliance members have many experiences that feed our empathy and understanding, but not all of us have parents with dementia or a child with a disability. One thing we have learned, though, over many years of practice, is that if you have seen one child or [...]

2022-03-15T11:20:02-04:00

Child Support for an Adult Child with Disabilities

The Voice is the email newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Craig C. Reaves, CELA of Reaves Law Firm, PC. in Kansas City, Missouri. Holding the CELA (Certified Elder Law Attorney) designation from the National Elder Law Foundation, he is a Past President and Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a Fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He is listed in Best Lawyers in America and has been designated as a Missouri Super Lawyer. Mr. Reaves is an adjunct professor of elder law at the law schools of the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He practices law in Kansas and Missouri with major emphasis in the areas of estate planning, elder law, special needs trusts, and planning for persons who have a disability.

2021-01-11T10:39:07-05:00

Naming a Special Needs Trust as Beneficiary of your IRA or Retirement Plan

This issue of the Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Lisa Nachmias Davis, CELA, a partner in the New Haven, Connecticut law firm of Davis O'Sullivan & Priest, LLC. Ms. Davis helps clients with estate planning, setting up or administering special needs trusts, qualifying for public benefits, and probate and estate settlement; she also represents charities and other nonprofit organizations. Her website is www.sharinglaw.net.

2021-01-18T10:30:22-05:00

Considerations when Initiating or Settling a Personal Injury Action

This issue of The Voice is written by Ken W. Shulman, Esq. who is a partner in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Day Pitney LLP. Ken focuses his practice on estate planning and related issues for families who have children with disabilities and on elder law. He has served as a board member for several human service agencies including the Greater Boston ARC and presently serves as a board member for the Asperger's Association of New England. He also serves on the Combined Jewish Philanthropies Committee on Disabilities and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He is a co-author of Managing a Special Needs Trust, People with Disabilities Press (2012). Ken often serves as a trustee of special needs trusts at his clients' request.

2021-01-11T10:34:05-05:00

Tax Tips for Parents of a Child with Special Needs

This issue of the Voice was written by Robert B. Fleming, CELA, a founding member of the Special Needs Alliance and a partner in the Tucson, Arizona, law firm of Fleming & Curti, PLC. Mr. Fleming represents family members who are guardians, conservators or trustees; he also frequently acts as trustee of special needs trusts. He travels and speaks extensively on taxation and trust administration issues. His website is at https://elder-law.com/.

2021-01-11T10:29:06-05:00

Filing a Tax Return for a Special Needs Trust: What a Trustee Needs to Know at Tax Time

This installment of the Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Tara Anne Pleat. Tara is a founding partner of the law firm of Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC (www.wplawny.com) in Clifton Park, New York. She practices in the areas of special needs planning, elder law, and trust and estate planning and administration. Tara writes and lectures frequently on issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.

2021-01-11T10:28:10-05:00

Special Needs Trusts And Home Ownership: A Trustee’s Concerns

This installment of the Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Evan J. Krame who focuses his practice on estate planning, probate, special needs planning and elder law. Evan is a past president of Shared Horizons, operating a pooled trust serving the Mid-Atlantic region. Evan also served as co-chair of the Estates, Trusts and Probate Section of the DC Bar. He has been honored as a Top Attorney and Best Lawyer in Washington and Maryland. Evan is a candidate for rabbinic ordination, seeking to blend his work in the law with pastoral care and spiritual direction skills. You may visit his website at Law Offices of Evan J. Krame.

2021-01-11T10:26:47-05:00

The Affordable Care Act and Its Impact on Individuals with Special Needs

This issue of the Voice was written by SNA member Shirley B. Whitenack, Esq. of Schenck, Price, Smith & King, LLP and an associate at her firm, Crystal West Edwards. Shirley's practice focuses on elder and special needs law and estate and trust litigation, planning and administration. She is a Fellow and the Vice President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and is a member of its Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP). Crystal's practice focuses on elder and special needs law. She is a member of the Elder and Disability Law Section of the New Jersey Bar Association, NAELA, and Secretary of the New Jersey Chapter of NAELA and the Garden State Bar Association.

2021-01-18T10:34:30-05:00

When Medicaid or SSI Benefits are Denied or Terminated – Now What?

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance members Ann N. Butenhof, CELA and Judith L. Bomster, Esq., of Butenhof & Bomster, P.C., in Manchester, New Hampshire. Both Ann and Judith focus their practices on estate planning, special needs planning, elder law, and probate and trust administration. Ann is a Certified Elder Law Attorney and a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Judith currently serves on the Ethics Committee of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and was the primary drafts person for New Hampshire's first pooled special needs trust program for third party trusts. Both Ann and Judith are members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

2021-01-11T10:22:20-05:00

When A Family Member Serves As Trustee (Part II): The Devil Is In The Details

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment's author is Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq., a founding partner of the law firm of Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC in Clifton Park, New York (www.wplawny.com). He practices in the areas of special needs planning, elder law and trust and estate planning and administration. A member and past president of the Special Needs Alliance, Ed writes and lectures frequently on issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.

2021-01-11T10:18:29-05:00

Letter of Intent

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Amy C. O`Hara, CELA and her co-author, Sheryl Frishman. Amy and Sheryl are attorneys with the New York law firm Littman Krooks LLP, specializing in special needs planning, trust administration, guardianships, elder law, and estate planning and administration. Amy is an active participant of the Special Needs Alliance publications committee and is a member of the New York State Bar Association. Sheryl's practice is devoted entirely to the advocacy and life planning needs of children and adults with disabilities and their families. She is immediate past President of the Board of Directors of Westchester Arc. Sheryl also serves on the Board of Governors and Legal Committee of NYSARC Inc.

2021-01-11T10:17:07-05:00

Does My Child Need a Guardianship?

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Hyman Darling, Esq., a partner in the Springfield, Massachusetts, firm of Bacon Wilson, P.C. Mr. Darling concentrates his practice in estate planning, elder law, probate, special needs and guardianships/conservatorships. Before joining Bacon Wilson, he was a trust officer for several years. A frequent speaker for civic and charitable organizations, he serves on the American Cancer Society National Professional Advisory Committee and the boards of several western Massachusetts nonprofit organizations for persons with disabilities. He serves on the board of directors and has served as Secretary of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

2021-01-11T10:16:38-05:00

Developing an Estate Plan for Parents of Children with Disabilities: A 15-Step Approach

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Laurie Hanson, Esq., a shareholder in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, elder law firm of Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A. with the help of her law clerk, Christine Jensen. The firm's focus is to provide positive strategies for individuals who are aging or living with disabilities to help them live as independently as possible for as long as possible. Laurie concentrates her practice exclusively in the areas of government benefit eligibility, special needs trusts, trust and public benefit litigation, estate planning, and planning for incapacity. She is the past president of the Elder Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association and is repeatedly named a super lawyer in the field of elder law by her peers.

2021-01-22T15:27:14-05:00

Using Private Trustees to Administer Special Needs Trusts

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance members Gregory Wilcox of Berkeley, California, and Dennis M. Sandoval, CELA of Riverside, California. Greg's firm focuses on government benefits and estate planning for the elderly and for individuals with disabilities. He is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA); co-author of Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting, and Administration and of California Elder Law Resources, Benefits, and Planning; and a board member of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) in San Francisco. Dennis M. Sandoval, PLC, in Riverside, California specializes in estate planning for families with special needs loved ones. He is a member of the Special Needs Alliance and the only attorney in California with certifications as a Certified Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Specialist, Certified Taxation Law Specialist and Certified Elder Law Attorney. He is also the Director of Education for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys and a co-author of Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting, and Administration.

2021-01-11T10:15:16-05:00

Updating Your Special Needs Trust – Begin with a Self Review

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, Esq. 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.

2021-01-11T10:13:56-05:00

Your Special Needs Trust (“SNT”) Defined

The Voice is the email newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Amy C. O`Hara, CELA, an attorney with the New York law firm of Littman Krooks LLP. Her practice focuses on special needs planning, trust administration, guardianships, elder law, veterans' benefits and estate planning and administration. Amy is a member of the Special Needs Alliance and active participant of the publications committee. She is also a member of the New York State Bar Association. Amy graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School.

2022-06-28T09:53:55-04:00

When a Family Member Serves as Trustee – “Fair and Honest Is Not Enough”

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment's author is Edward V. 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. A member and past president of the Special Needs Alliance, Ed writes and lectures frequently on issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.

2021-01-08T13:05:11-05:00

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