Robert Fechtman, Fechtman Law Office, Indianapolis, Indiana, has been elected president of the Special Needs Alliance (SNA).

“SNA is concerned about potential cuts to public benefits and attacks on Obamacare,” says Fechtman. “Many of the individuals and families we serve rely on needs-based public benefits programs, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the health coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act has made a huge difference to their lives. We’ll be suggesting that our member attorneys to talk to their clients about these threats and encourage them to be vocal in expressing their views to legislators.

“We also plan continuing education on how to use ABLE accounts and special needs trusts (SNTs) together in order to improve financial independence and security for individuals with disabilities,” he continues. “SNA recently partnered with the ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) as part of this initiative.” ABLE accounts are savings tools that Congress authorized the states to establish for eligible individuals with special needs. Funds held in both ABLE accounts and SNTs don’t affect a person’s eligibility for needs-based government benefits so long as distributions are used for qualifying purposes.

Fechtman’s practice focuses on special needs, elder law and estate planning. A significant portion of his work involves acting as trustee for SNTs.

He is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), through the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) and has served as president of the Indiana chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). He is the current president of the Estate Planning and Administration section of the Indianapolis Bar Association and serves on the board of directors for NELF.
Fechtman earned a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law, in addition to attending the University of San Diego’s Institute on International and Comparative Law at Magdalen College, Oxford University. He graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in music and a major in economics.

Also named to the SNA board of directors: Jennifer L. Lile, CELA, Canton, Ohio, as president-elect; Mary E. O’Byrne, Esq., Lutherville, Maryland, as vice president, Jefferey M. Yussman, Esq., Louisville, Kentucky, as treasurer; Laurie A. Hanson, Esq., Minneapolis, Minnesota, as secretary; and Brian Rubin, Esq., Buffalo Grove, Illinois, as past president.

Newly elected as directors are: James A. Caffry, Esq., Waterbury, Vermont; Amy C. O’Hara, CELA, White Plains, New York; and Christopher W. Smith, Esq., Southfield, Michigan.

Continuing as directors are Mary Alice Jackson, Esq., Austin, Texas; Robert Brogan, CELA, Point Pleasant, New Jersey; Julian E. Gray, CELA, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Evan Krame, Esq., Rockville, Maryland; Morris Klein, CELA, Bethesda, Maryland; and Scott Suzuki, Esq., Honolulu, Hawaii.