Will a Special Needs Trust Affect My Child’s Government Benefits?

“Will the trust affect my child’s benefits?” In over 25 years of practicing law, this question is constantly asked. The irony of the question is that the client is coming to the office with the understanding that they will be receiving an affirmative response to that concern. The purpose of a special needs trust is […]

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Early Eligibility For Social Security: A Potential Benefit For Spouses Who Care For Children With Disabilities

Parents who care for children with disabilities almost invariably incur additional financial challenges than others. They often pay for additional medical bills while their children are growing up. Upon attaining the age of 18, many children with disabilities are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Although these benefits are helpful, SSI payments often […]

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Powers of Attorney: Practical Tips for Executing, Using and Revoking

By Thomas D. Begley, III, Esq. Co-Authored by Brittany A. Verga, Esq. Although most people initially think that a Will is the cornerstone of estate planning, it is often asserted that the most important document is a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a document in which one individual vests authority in another […]

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Court Establishes That Special Needs Trust Is Set In Stone

In 2010, Claude Newsome, who was already legally blind due to macular degeneration, became a quadriplegic as a result of an automobile accident.  After a personal injury action was filed on his behalf, he received a settlement which netted nearly $4 million.  His attorney recommended that he establish a special needs trust with these funds.  […]

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Tax Loophole For Family Businesses Targeted For Closure

The United States Treasury Department has proposed new regulations which would substantially curb the ability of family owned businesses to transfer wealth from one generation to the next. For many years, families have been able to lawfully transfer interests in their business to the next generation through entities including Limited Liability Companies, Family Limited Partnerships […]

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Legal Authority For Gifting

As wealth accumulates in this country and our population continues to age, the propriety of lifetime giving has increased. Gifts can be made out of sheer benevolence, but are also important in minimizing death taxes and long term care costs. This blog will review some of the key concepts involved in lifetime giving. Gifts can […]

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Debtor Has No Right to Information About Creditor’s Estate

On April 1, 2011, Norman Webb lent $150,000 to his then son-in-law, Dan Krudys. The loan was for a term of four years and was memorialized by a promissory note executed by Krudys. In the next four years, Norman died, Krudys and Norman’s daughter, Cheryl divorced, Krudys defaulted on the note and Norman’s son, Scott, […]

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New Jersey Court Bans Medicaid Planning By Non-Lawyers

Over the past three decades, the increasing costs of long term care have led many individuals and families to look for ways to preserve the assets which they have spent a lifetime accumulating. In that regard, the discipline of elder law has arisen and has been a focus of practice for many attorneys. As the […]

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Control Disqualifies Trust From Medicaid Protection

Last month, a New Hampshire Court set an irrevocable trust and declared the assets therein available resources which should have been spent on long term care prior to Medicaid eligibility by the individual who established the trust. Specifically, in the Petition of Estate of Thea Braiterman No. 2015-0395 (N.H. July 12, 2016), the New Hampshire […]

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Conflict of Interest Renders Trustee Liable For Losses

In 1992, Ann Mark created two irrevocable trusts for the benefit of her three children. An attorney, Jared Scharf, assumed the role of trustee of these trusts in 1997. In 2008, Scharf established three separate trusts – one for each child – from assets held by one of these trusts. In April 2010, Scharf invested […]

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