Loud & Clear: Family Conversations is written by our member attorneys and guests for individuals with disabilities and their families. We tackle the day-to-day and long-range issues that affect the quality of life. Readers are welcome to comment on the discussion, though we can not answer legal questions here. For answers to specific legal questions, please find an attorney in our Directory.
This post was written by Tara Anne Pleat, Esq., Wilcenski Pleat Law, with offices in Clifton Park and Queensbury, New York. Her practice includes special needs planning and administration, traditional estate planning and elder law.
This post was written by former Special Needs Alliance president Katherine N. Barr, Esq., a member of Sirote & Permutt’s Private Clients, Trusts and Estates Practice Group, Birmingham, Alabama. Much of her practice involves special needs planning, through which she assists clients in providing for a family member in a way that does not jeopardize government benefits. She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and has been cited in The Best Lawyers in America©.
This installment of The Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Elizabeth L. Gray, CELA, a principal with the firm of McCandlish Lillard, with offices in Fairfax and Leesburg, Virginia. She has practiced special needs and elder law for over 20 years and has been listed in Best Lawyers of America annually since 2012. She also sits on the board of directors of Brain Injury Services.
By Glynis A. Ritchie, Esq. Parents of children with special needs have lots on their plates. When it comes to estate planning, the tasks at hand can be complicated, and [...]
This edition of the Voice was written by SNA member, Robert B. Fleming. Robert is a partner in the Tucson, Arizona law firm of Fleming & Curti, PLC. He is a long-time member of the Special Needs Alliance and frequently speaks on special needs issues to lawyers and family members all over the country. You can subscribe to his newsletter and podcast at www.elder-law.com.
By Sage C. Hart, Esq. High school graduation is a milestone for any student, but when a young adult has disabilities, it ushers in a period of even greater change. [...]
By Judith L. Smith, Esq. Bullying in its many forms is a serious, all-too-common problem, and social media has moved this abuse online. The bullying may involve insults, threats or [...]
Parents and grandparents often have a pretty good sense of when they may want to create a special needs trust ("SNT") for their child or grandchild with atypical needs. They also understand, perhaps after discussion, when their family's circumstances warrant a need for money management, or if an inheritance will jeopardize essential means-tested government benefits, like SSI or Medicaid. In meeting with a special needs attorney, Clark and Cathy explained that Sara, their daughter with developmental delays, would be unable to manage her own inheritance. The question they had not fully considered was, "Who should hold that job after they are gone?"
Barbara Hughes, center, Vice President of The Arc Dane County, chaired the stunningly successful event. From left, Danielle Sendelbach and Bianca McCormick from Barbara’s office were two of the many [...]
The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Timothy J. Rigby, who practices with Hart, Southworth & Witsman in Springfield, Illinois. The firm’s focus is estate planning and transactional matters, and Tim concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning and special needs planning.
By Sally L. Schoffstall, CELA Dementia is on the rise with the aging of baby boomers. Nearly six million individuals in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s, while others deal with cognitive [...]
The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Laurie Hanson, a shareholder in the Minneapolis, Minnesota elder law firm of Long, Reher, Hanson, & Price, P.A. The firm’s focus is to provide individuals who are aging or living with disabilities positive strategies to 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 a past president of the Elder Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, a member of the SNA board of directors, and is repeatedly named a super lawyer in the field of elder law by her peers.
By Tara Anne Pleat, Esq. It is not uncommon for parents who are creating a supplemental needs trust (SNT) for a loved one with disabilities to assume that naming one [...]
Emily Kingsley and son Jason are prominently featured in Andrew Solomon’s Far from the Tree, recognized by The New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2012, [...]
By Emily A. Donaldson, CELA As mid-term elections approach, the stakes are high for individuals with disabilities. Budget battles are being waged at every level of government, threatening Medicaid, SSDI, [...]
By Neal A. Winston, CELA Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a monthly cash payment to qualifying individuals with disabilities, based on financial need. While it often forms the foundation of [...]
By Daniel M. 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. [...]
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 [...]
By Lisa Orlando, Invo-Progressus Communication is such a fundamental part of who we are that we can take for granted how often we use these skills. Speaking, listening, questioning and [...]
By Kelly A. Thompson, Esq. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has appointed millions of representative payees to manage Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for individuals [...]