The Mission Project

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, a Fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC), and has been selected for inclusion on the Kansas and Missouri Super Lawyers list for every year since 2005. 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.

2021-01-08T12:51:33-05:00

Planning for Adult Children with Disabilities

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Bryn Poland, Esq. and Pi-Yi G. Mayo, CELA, of the Law Office of Pi-Yi Mayo, in Baytown, Texas (mayopoland.com). Their practice focuses on elder law and special needs planning, including special needs trusts, Medicare set-asides, and Qualified Settlement Funds. Both are members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Texas chapter (TX NAELA). Pi-Yi is a Certified Elder Law Attorney, Special Needs Alliance Executive Committee member, and currently serves on the Board of the TX NAELA chapter. Bryn graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 2007 and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the Houston Bar Association. Together they have authored many papers covering topics from long term care insurance to Pickle people (https://mayopoland.com/resources/).

2022-06-28T10:27:50-04:00

Buying a House for a Special Needs Beneficiary: Proceed with Care!

The Voice is the email newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Martha C. Brown, CELA, at the St. Louis, Missouri law firm of Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC. She limits her practice to elder law and special needs law. A Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a Certified Elder Law Attorney, Martha has been designated a Super Lawyer in Kansas City Magazine for the last five years. Through her continuing legal education presentations and community presentations, Martha helps attorneys and the public understand and address legal issues concerning the elderly and people with disabilities.

2021-01-08T12:51:03-05:00

Avoid This Common Banking Error

The Voice is the email newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Robert Mason, a partner in the Savannah elder law firm of MasonCerbone and the North Carolina firm of Mason Law, PC. Bob is certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, is past Chairman of the Elder Law Section of the North Carolina Bar, and secretary of the Elder Law Section of the Georgia State Bar. You can e-mail Bob at [email protected], or visit his website at www.masonlawpc.com.

2021-01-08T12:50:51-05:00

Decisions Arising with the Death of a Child

The Voice® is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Leonard F. Berg, CELA. A graduate of the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, Leonard is a solo practitioner in East Alton, Madison County, Illinois. Leonard's prior experience includes service as a public defender, prosecutor, and municipal attorney and he has participated in mental health commitment hearings representing both patients and the state. His practice currently focuses on estate planning, special needs planning and elder law. Leonard has been designated as an Illinois Leading Lawyer. He is involved in a variety of civic organizations and has been a speaker for numerous civic groups.

2021-09-29T10:21:31-04:00

The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIP) Under 2010’s Health Care Reform Law

The Voice is the email newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Sarasota, Florida attorney Mary Alice Jackson, Esq., a member of the Special Needs Alliance and active participant on its Public Policy Committee. She is a partner at Boyer & Jackson, P.A., where her practice includes special needs and long term care planning, estate planning, probate and end-of-life issues. Mary Alice is also an active member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, a past Chair of the Florida Bar Elder Law Section, and an adjunct professor in the Stetson University College of Law Elder LL.M. program.

2021-01-08T12:50:34-05:00

The Pitfalls of Caregiver Employment: Paying, Withholding, and Reporting Requirements

The Voice is the email newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Peter J. Losavio, Jr., CELA, an attorney with Losavio & DeJean, LLC in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Holding both a law degree and LLM in tax, Pete is certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation and as a Tax Specialist and Estate Planning and Administration Specialist by the Louisiana Board. Pete is a charter member of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association and a member of the Society of Louisiana CPAs. He limits his practice to asset protection, life care planning and estate and tax planning.

2022-06-28T10:21:52-04:00

The Impact of Special Needs Trusts on Eligibility for Subsidized Housing

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Massachusetts Special Needs Alliance member Emily S. Starr, CELA, an attorney with Starr Vander Linden LLC with offices in Worcester & Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Her practice focuses on estate planning, elder law, and government benefits issues for families which include individuals with special needs. Emily is a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the 2007 recipient of The Theresa Award, a national honor recognizing extraordinary contributions of attorneys to the community of individuals with disabilities, and a recipient of the 2008 Scholar Mentor Award from Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.

2021-01-08T12:50:17-05:00

The Other Special Need: Planning for Those with Severe Mental Illness

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of the Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Shawn Majette, Esq. of Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Majette was recently named to Virginia Lawyers Media 2010 class of Leaders in the Law. This program, now in its fifth year, aims to honor the lawyers who are setting the standard for other lawyers. Mr. Majette has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America in Elder Law since 2007. He is also an active member of NAELA and was recently the focus of the organization's magazine cover story, The Magician of Elder Law. Mr. Majette's many articles can be found on the t-mlaw.com website. Involuntary Civil Commitment is one of the most recent posted online.

2021-01-08T12:50:01-05:00

Comparing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

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, PC, in Manchester, New Hampshire (www.butenhofbomster.com). Ann and Judith focus their practices on estate planning, special needs planning, elder law and probate and trust administration. Both are members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the local New Hampshire chapter ("NH NAELA").

Ann is a Certified Elder Law Attorney, a Fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel, has been listed as one of New Hampshire's Top Lawyers since 2003, and has been designated one of New England's Super Lawyers.

Judith currently serves on the Board of NH NAELA, on the Ethics Committee of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and was the primary draftsperson for New Hampshire's first pooled special needs trust program for third-party trusts, a program launched in 2010 by the Enhanced Lives Options Group, a New Hampshire non-profit organization that manages several pooled special needs trust programs.

2021-01-14T16:40:09-05:00

Special Benefits for Military Families — Elect With Care

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Sandra L. Smith, CELA, a partner with Oast & Hook, P.C. in Suffolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is the editor of the firm's weekly newsletter, the "Oast & Hook News," which is available on the firm's website. She is certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Ms. Smith is the co-author of the "Special Needs Trusts" chapter for the Elder Law in Virginia handbook published by Virginia CLE. She is a member of the Board of Directors and the immediate past president of Commonwealth Community Trust, a pooled trust in Richmond, Virginia. She retired from the United States Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel with over 20 years active duty service, and earned her Juris Doctorate degree from the College of William and Mary School of Law.

2021-01-08T12:49:30-05:00

The Past, Present and Future of Community Living for Persons with Disabilities – A Christmas Carol

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Walnut Creek, California Special Needs Alliance member Stephen W. Dale, Esq. of The Dale Law Firm, PC. Mr. Dale 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. Mr. Dale regularly teaches courses to the public, financial professionals, and other attorneys on special needs trusts and trust administration. Additionally, Mr. Dale serves as the trustee for the Golden State Pooled Trust. Mr. Dale offers numerous videos and handouts to the public and his colleagues, many online through his Achieving Independence initiative.

2021-01-08T12:49:18-05:00

What Health Reform Means for Persons with Disabilities

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Albuquerque, New Mexico Special Needs Alliance member Nell Graham Sale, CELA. Nell's practice concentrates on taxation, estate planning, estate administration, business succession, disability planning and elder law. She is a Certified Elder Law Attorney as designated by the National Elder Law Foundation. The recipient of much recognition from her peers, Nell is a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and since 2007 has consistently been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers. Not least importantly, Nell is a regular contributor to the blog at her firm, Pregenzer, Baysinger, Wideman and Sale.

2021-09-29T10:23:47-04:00

Veteran’s Benefits

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Jacob H. Menashe, Esq., of Lynnwood, Washington. Jacob is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a past Chair of the Elder Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association. Jacob's practice emphasizes estate and long-term care planning, special needs trusts, probate, guardianship and Social Security/SSI disability appeals.

2021-01-08T12:48:58-05:00

Dear Grandma and Grandpa…

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq., a founding partner of the law firm of Jones, 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

2021-01-08T12:48:48-05:00

Life Insurance on a Child with Special Needs: Benefits and Challenges

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by SNA 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 is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Board of Directors.

2021-07-21T16:08:52-04:00

Planning Options With Retirement Benefits

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Ken W. Shulman, Esq., a partner in the Boston, Massachusetts office of Day Pitney LLP. His practice includes estate planning and related issues for families who have children with disabilities, and elder law. He presently serves on the board of the Asperger's Association of New England and on the Combined Jewish Philanthropies Committee on Disabilities. He previously served on the board of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He is a co-author of Special Needs Trust Administration Manual, A Guide for Trustees, available through DisABILITIESBOOKS.

2021-01-18T10:31:25-05:00

Retirement Accounts and Government Benefits

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance members Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq. and Tara Anne Pleat, Esq..

EDWARD V. WILCENSKI, Esq., is a founding partner of the law firm of Jones 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.

TARA ANNE PLEAT, Esq. is a founding partner of the law firm of Jones Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC in Clifton Park, New York. She focuses her practice in the areas of special needs planning, trust & estate planning and administration, long term care planning and elder law. Tara is a member of the Special Needs Alliance, frequently speaking on estate planning and administration, special needs planning and related disability issues for state and local bar associations and community organizations.

2021-01-08T12:48:06-05:00

Crummey Doesn’t Mean Lousy

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by H. Amos Goodall, Jr., CELA of the State College, Pennsylvania law firm Goodall & Yurchak, P.C. His practice emphasizes estate planning and implementation for elders, persons with special needs and their families. A member of the Special Needs Alliance and of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Amos is also a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

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2021-09-29T10:03:52-04:00

Your Special Needs Trust Explained

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. Amy is an attorney with Littman Krooks LLP with offices in New York City, White Plains, NY and Fishkill, NY. Most of her work involves helping people with special needs planning (trusts, guardianships and government entitlements), estate planning and administration (wills and trusts), elder law issues (Medicaid and Medicare, Veterans' Benefits, guardianships).

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

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