Special Needs

Court Properly Added Beneficiary To Case Seeking Removal of SNT Trustees

Abbie Dorn, while delivering triplets in 2006, suffered catastrophic injuries and was left permanently disabled. A medical malpractice action yielded a settlement of $6,730,000. A Special Needs Trust was established, which was funded with an initial contribution of $910,275.20. The balance was funded by a $4,333,105 annuity, which was to provide periodic payments of $31,000 […]

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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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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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Court Case Highlights Need For Special Needs Trust Funding

Last month, the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed the decision of a local Circuit Court which denied the request of a disabled party, James S. Corn, to establish a Special-Needs Trust on his behalf. James S. Corn, who is in his 50s, became disabled, suffering from memory loss. He receives both SSI and Medicaid. His partner […]

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Practicing in a Rough Neighborhood: The Trust Hacker Podcast

Over the past year, Bob Mason, a nationally elder law attorney from North Carolina, has created a podcast known as the Trust Hacker.  In these podcasts, Bob interviews attorneys from all over the country regarding issues effecting trusts, estates, elder law and special needs planning.  Recently, I was humbled to be interviewed by him. The […]

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Courts Disqualify Special Needs Trusts

In two recent cases, courts in Alabama and New York have deemed that the assets in Special Needs Trust which they have reviewed are available resources and must be spent down entirely prior to the beneficiaries of same receiving Medicaid or other needs based government benefits. In  Alabama Medicaid Agency v. Hardy (Ala. Civ. App., No. […]

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