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.

SNT Beneficiaries on the Move: Second in a Series

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment of The Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Kristen M. Lewis, Esq., who practices in Atlanta, Georgia at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP. Kristen is also a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). She is a frequent national speaker on special needs planning, and serves on the Boards of numerous non-profits that support individuals with disabilities and their families. In her vast amounts of free time, she trains certified service dogs for Canine Assistants in Milton, Georgia.

SNT Beneficiaries on the Move: First in a Series

This installment of The Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Kristen M. Lewis, Esq., who practices in Atlanta, Georgia at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP. Kristen is also a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. She is a frequent national speaker on Special Needs Planning, and serves on the Boards of numerous non-profits that support individuals with disabilities and their families. In her vast amounts of free time, she trains certified service dogs for Canine Assistants in Milton, Georgia.

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Two Different Types of Special Needs Trusts

There are two types of Special Needs Trusts (SNTs), commonly designated as first-party and third-party SNTs. It is important to determine which type of SNT you have or need. This depends upon whose property is funding the SNT. If the property funding the SNT originates with the SNT beneficiary, then it is a first-party SNT. However, if the property funding the SNT always belonged to someone other than the SNT beneficiary, then it must be drafted as a third-party SNT.

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Trust Protectors for Special Needs Trusts

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Gregory Wilcox of Berkeley, 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) and co-author of Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting, and Administration and of California Elder Law Resources, Benefits, and Planning.  He is a core faculty member in attorney training conferences given by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) in San Francisco, and frequent contributor of articles on special needs topics in CANHR's Legal Network News.

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

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment of The Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Tara Anne Pleat, Esq.. Tara 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.

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Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) – How to Open an ABLE Account

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 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.

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The “Special Needs Trust Fairness Act” is Finally Law: Individuals with Disabilities Can Now Establish Their Own Trusts

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment of The Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Morris Klein, CELA, who practices law in Bethesda, Maryland. Morris has been recognized as a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, and focuses on elder law and special needs planning. He currently serves on the SNA Board of Directors, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the First Maryland Disability Trust.

Transferring Guardianship Across State Lines

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member and current president Scott Suzuki, Esq. of Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Suzuki's law practice emphasizes planning for individuals with special needs and their families. He serves on the board of The Arc of Hawaii and is a founding member of Aloha Independent Living Hawaii; former vice president of Family Voices, which facilitates community-based, family-centered care for children with special needs; and a longtime volunteer with the University of Hawaii Elder Law Program.

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SSI Rules for Students

This installment of the Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Barbara Isenhour, Esq., of the firm of Somers Tamblyn King Isenhour Bleck, PLLC in Seattle, Washington. Barbara's practice focuses on government benefits for individuals with disabilities and estate planning for families with children who have special needs. A board member of Full Life Care in Seattle, Barbara frequently lectures around the state of Washington on issues involving special needs trusts and government benefits for the elderly and individuals with disabilities.

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Disabled Military Child Protection Act Policy Issued

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Kelly A. Thompson, Esq.. Kelly has been a lawyer for 37 years, practicing law in Arlington, Virginia for the last 21 years. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and a frequent lecturer on special needs planning. Her clients include many military families and she was active in lobbying for passage of the Disabled Military Child Protection Act. Her practice focuses on planning for individuals with disabilities and the elderly, special needs trusts, trust administration and estate planning.

Income Taxes and Special Needs

This installment of the Voice was written by Robert B. Fleming, CELA. Robert is a partner in Fleming & Curti, PLC, a Tucson law firm focusing on special needs planning, trust administration, guardianship/conservatorship and estate planning. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and also of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has been a member of the Special Needs Alliance since its founding, and was one of the original co-authors of the SNA's Handbook for Trustees, the free online guide to managing special needs trusts.

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Representative Payee for Social Security Benefits

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Martha C. Brown, CELA, a Special Needs Alliance member in St. Louis, Missouri. Martha Martha Brownlimits 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 for the last six years. Through her numerous community presentations and continuing legal education presentations, Martha helps attorneys and the public understand and address legal issues concerning the elderly and people with disabilities. Currently Martha is participating in the statewide task force to rewrite the guardianship code in Missouri.

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Telephone Scams Preying on Vulnerable Adults

This installment of the Voice 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 the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Amos is also a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel. Amos wrote this article in consultation with Officer Kelly Aston of the State College Bureau of Police Services, State College, Pennsylvania.

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Disabled Military Child Protection Act

The Voice is the e-mail newsletter of The Special Needs Alliance. This installment was written by Special Needs Alliance member Kelly A. Thompson, Esq.. Kelly has been a lawyer for 36 years, practicing law in Arlington, Virginia for the last 20 years. Her clients include many military families, and her practice focuses on planning for individuals with disabilities and the elderly, special needs trusts, trust administration and estate planning.

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