The Voice®2019-05-23T16:45:16-04:00

The Voice is SNA’s newsletter, written by our member attorneys for the benefit of families, other attorneys and professionals who work with the special needs community.

These are in depth articles that address the complex issues we each face.

The SECURE Act – How It Affects Special Needs Planning and Special Needs Trusts

This issue of the Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Alliance member Edward M. Biggin, Esq. an attorney with the law firm Landsman Law Group located in Rockville, Maryland.  Ed practices in the areas of Special Needs Planning, Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Estate Planning, Guardianship, Probate Administration, and Trust Administration.  Ed is a member of the Bar in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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Individuals with Disabilities and the Animals Providing Them Services

The following Article for the Voice is an update of one previously published, and reflects the ever-changing rules and regulations with respect to service animals and emotional support animals, particularly:  the Americans With Disabilities Act, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation regulations, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development rules, and the Fair Housing Act.

This article was co-authored by SNA member Richard Kroll, and by Nicholas S. Proukou, of the Kroll Law Firm LLP.  Both focus their practices in Trusts, Estates, and Special Needs Planning.  You will find them in Rochester, NY and may visit them at www.kroll-lawoffice.com  

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Are You Really Ready? Realistic Planning for Parents and Other Caregivers

The Voice® is the e-mail newsletter of the Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Edward 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. Ed is a past President of the Special Needs Alliance and writes and lectures frequently on issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.

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

Tara Anne Pleat, Esq., CELA

This edition of The Voice® is a reprint of an article originally published back in April of 2017. As we head into tax season with so many different things on our minds, we thought it a good idea to reprint this article to remind special needs trust trustees of their obligations at tax time.

The primary focus of this article is to provide an introduction to the tax form that typically must be filed for special needs trusts that are generating income.

Tara Anne Pleat, Esq., CELA, is a founding partner of the law firm of Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC, 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. She is currently a Member of the Board of Directors of the Special Needs Alliance.

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SNA 2020 Public Policy Initiatives

The Voice® is the e-mail newsletter of the Special Needs Alliance (SNA). This installment was written by a consortium of members of the SNA’s Public Policy Committee. The Public Policy Committee through our public policy consultant, Brian Lindberg, work with members of Congress and congressional staff to educate and advocate on issues of importance to individuals with disabilities and their families. Beginning with this installment, the Public Policy Committee will author periodic issues of the Voice® to introduce our readers to the Public Policy efforts the SNA is directly involved in.

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Succession Planning for Guardians

The Voice® is the e-mail newsletter of the Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Elizabeth Noble Rollings Friman, Esq., a partner of the law firm of Fleming & Curti, PLC (Tucson, Arizona). She is an attorney and a licensed private fiduciary, and her practice focuses on trust administration, probate, guardianship, conservatorship, and estate planning. Elizabeth enjoys public speaking, and she hosts a weekly podcast, Elder Law Issues with her partner, Robert B. Fleming, CELA. She is the former Vice President and Treasurer of the Arizona Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and currently serves on the State Bar of Arizona Probate & Trust Executive Council.

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Ten Reasons to Use a Stand-Alone Supplemental Needs Trust

This issue of The Voice® was written by Special Needs Alliance member Amelia Crotwell, CELA, the founding partner of the firm Elder Law of East Tennessee, PLLC, in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she helps clients with Life Care Planning, special needs trust planning, and estate planning.  She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law.  She teaches Elder Law at her alma matter and she serves as the President of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.  Her website is www.elderlawetn.com.

NURSING HOME VISITS BALANCING HELP AND HARM

This issue of The Voice® was written by Special Needs Alliance board member Mary Alice Jackson, Esq., a founding partner of the firm Boyer & Boyer, P.A. in Sarasota, Florida, where she is now of counsel. She is a graduate of Stetson University College of Law. Ms. Jackson enjoys assisting individuals and families with special needs trust planning, and counseling clients on long term care planning. She is board certified in Elder Law by the Florida Bar and is licensed in Texas. Her website is www.boyerboyer.com.

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 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. Ed is a past President of the Special Needs Alliance, and writes and lectures frequently on issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families

Long-time readers of The Voice know that we rarely repeat an issue. In the world of disability there are many important topics to choose from, so the challenge has really been in deciding which topics are of most interest to our readers rather than finding something interesting in the first place. Because the Voice has many new readers each year, we know that many of our current readers may have missed this article when it first appeared in November of 2010. With this in mind, we’ve decided to reprint this article written by Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq. hoping that it may catch newer readers before they make their final decisions on how to make holiday gifts to their family members and friends with disabilities.

What is a special needs trust anyway?

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 sharinglaw.net.

Special Needs Beneficiaries Can Be Explicitly Included in Estate Planning

This article for The Voice® was written by Mark B. Heffner, CELA, a graduate of Harvard College and Boston College Law School. He is the principal of Heffner & Associates, a firm with offices in Warwick and Barrington, Rhode Island, focusing since 1992 on elder law, special needs planning, and estate planning. Mark is a Certified Elder Law Attorney, and became a member of the Special Needs Alliance in 2004. He can be found at www.hefflaw.com

The Pitfalls of Paying Family Members to Provide Care

This article for The Voice® was written by Courtney L. Fletcher, Esq., of Springfield, Missouri. Courtney is an attorney in the Estate Planning Practice Group of Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown, P.C. and has been practicing law since 1995. Her practice area include special needs planning, estate planning and administration, probate, trust and elder law, guardianships/conservatorships and Veteran’s benefits. Courtney is a member of the Missouri Bar, past president of the Greene County Estate Planning Council, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and a VA accredited attorney. She is a past director of the Missouri Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a past chairman of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association Probate & Trust Committee. She currently serves on the Elder Law Committee of the Missouri Bar and is also a member of the Estate, Trust and Elder Law Institute Planning Committee. Please visit her at www.cecb.com.

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What, Where, Why, and When must a Special Needs Trust Be Reported to Government Agencies?

This article for The Voice® was written by Emily B. Kile, Esq. of Scottsdale, Arizona. Emily is a partner at Kile & Kupiszewski Law Firm, LLC. Emily has been practicing law since 1993.  She is a member of the Special Needs Alliance. Her practice areas include special needs planning, probate, trust administration, long term care planning and guardianship/conservatorship matters.  Emily is also a licensed fiduciary. She serves as Trustee, Conservator and Financial Agent for individuals. Emily is a past chairperson for the Elder Law, Mental Health & Special Needs Planning section of the State Bar of Arizona. Please visit her at: www.kilekuplaw.com

Customizable Visa Card Offers Flexibility to Beneficiaries

This installment of The Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Stephen W. Dale, Esq., founder of The Dale Law Firm, PC, in Pacheco, California. His practice focuses on estate planning, and he is an ardent advocate for disability rights. He is a frequent national speaker on a wide range of disability topics, and has received both the Powley Award and Theresa Foundation Award in recognition of his work on behalf of individuals with special needs. He is a board member with the Arc of California, a trustee with the Golden State Pooled Trust, and legal counsel for True Link Financial.

Customizable Visa Card Offers Flexibility to Beneficiaries

Customizable Visa Card Aids Financial Independence

This installment of The Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Stephen W. Dale, Esq., founder of The Dale Law Firm, PC, in Pacheco, California. His practice focuses on estate planning, and he is an ardent advocate for disability rights. He is a frequent national speaker on a wide range of disability topics, and has received both the Powley Award and Theresa Foundation Award in recognition of his work on behalf of individuals with special needs. He is a board member with the Arc of California, a trustee with the Golden State Pooled Trust, and legal counsel for True Link Financial.

Special Needs Planning Benefits All Siblings

This edition of the Voice is written by Benjamin A. Rubin, Esq., LLM, a partner in Rubin Law, with offices in Buffalo Grove, Chicago and Old Orchard, Illinois. The firm focuses exclusively on serving the families of children and adults with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities and mental illness. Having a brother with autism, among other significant disabilities, has profoundly shaped who Benjamin is today, including the type of law he chose to practice.

Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Individuals with Disabilities

This article for The Voice was written by Richard Kroll, Esq. of Rochester, New York, a member of the Special Needs Alliance. An attorney with 45 years of experience, his expertise is frequently sought by both individuals, and organizations in the special needs community. Richard is a self-described “cat-person.” Please visit him on the web at www.Kroll-LawOffice.com.

Who Will Protect Your Child from You?

This installment of The Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Joseph R. Gilsoul, Esq., of Gilsoul & Associates, Shreveport, Louisiana. He has practiced special needs law and estate planning for over 32 years and frequently speaks on these subjects to professional groups and the general public, including attorney continuing education seminars. Visit his website at www.Gilsoul-law.com.

In-Kind Support and Maintenance – A Trap for the Unwary

This edition of the Voice is written by Leonard Anderson, Esq. Leonard is a Partner at Barlow Anderson, LLC in Anchorage, Alaska, where he has been practicing in the elder law field for more than 25 years. He is a member the Special Needs Alliance and his practice areas include probate, estate planning, guardianships, special needs planning, and trusts. He is a past president of the Anchorage Bar Association and is a member of the Probate Rules Committee for State of Alaska.

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