Greetings!

I hope you are enjoying your summer.

How can you protect the settlement proceeds for a minor?  Read about why the Fifth Court of Appeals rules that a structured settlement can extend beyond a minor's age of majority. 

 

Need to know more? Join us at our full day Advanced Level CLE programs offered in Palm Beach, Broward & Miami-Dade Counties starting September 26th for attorneys and Florida Registered Paralegals.  
We are your one stop shop for cutting edge elder law services. 

Warmest regards,
Stephanie L. Schneider, CELA  
Stephanie L. Schneider, PA


Inside the June/July 2011 Issue
Florida Appeals Court Rejects Structure for Minor
Welcome to Our Success Corner
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Stephanie L. Schneider, PA Newsletter
Elder Law News Lawyers Can Use
June/July 2011

Court Approves Structured Settlement for a Minor That Extends Beyond the Age of Majority

The Fifth District Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court's ruling that it could not approve a structured settlement proposal for a minor.  In Hancock v. Share (Case No. 5D10-2069) the minor's Mother was appointed her Guardian. The Guardian petitioned the Court for approval of the proposed settlement and purchase of the structured settlement payable over twenty-seven years. The trial judge inquired whether the minor could get the money when she attained the age of majority and was advised that she could not. 
  
The trial judge approved the settlement but denied the request to purchase the structure citing Florida Statute 744.441(19) and Guardianship of Bernstein v. Miller, 777 So.2d 1125 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001) (guardian could not establish a trust that would extend beyond the minor's age of majority).
  
The appellate court ruled that no trust was being created and that the Guardian had properly submitted the annuity contract pursuant to Florida Statute 744.441(21) which was in the best interests of the minor. The Guardian has a duty to deliver the annuity contract to the minor upon her eighteenth birthday.
  
Our firm handles minor guardianships and in certain situations can save the family additional expense of continuing the guardianship by having the Court approve the purchase of a structured settlement and/or college pre-paid plan.  Help your clients to make an informed decision and wise investment in their future - refer them to Stephanie a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney.
 "Proper Planning May Create Peace of Mind"
We are your and your clients' partner in the aging process.  Let us help you put the pieces of the puzzle together to navigate the elder law maze!
sls photoWelcome to Our Success Corner
 

If you have ever had a settlement which needed to be protected by a special needs trust (SNT) then you probably know that federal law requires the Medicaid lien to be repaid at the death of the beneficiary.  No one has a crystal ball to forecast the size of the Medicaid lien or, the value of the trust assets at the beneficiary's demise.  Consequently, it is important for us to counsel the trustee (and the beneficiary's family) about planning proactively.

 

Purchasing a home for the SNT beneficiary is one of the largest investments a SNT will ever make.  However, if the home is not titled properly it can be an expensive mistake.  If the home is titled in the name of the SNT there is the potential result that the home may need to be sold to satisfy the Medicaid lien. The unfortunate consequence is that a family will lose their home.

 

Recently, we were called by a corporate trustee to represent them in administering an existing SNT. We discovered that the home was titled in the name of the trust.  We immediately informed the Co-Trustees of the inherent danger.  The probate division for the beneficiary's guardianship is being petitioned to obtain authorization to transfer the title to the guardianship. The result will be to maintain the constitutional protection of homestead as well as the ad valorem tax benefits and the exemption from the Medicaid lien.

 

The Co-Trustees and the beneficiary's Father are relieved that we identified the issue and are correcting it. Our client's well-being and their appreciation of our service is just one of many rewarding reasons why we do what we do! 

 

Support your clients by consulting with our firm early in the planning process. 

Call us to host Advanced Level CLEs
  "Preserving the Personal Injury Settlement for the Aged and Disabled Client"
 
"Medicare Set Arrangements - they're not just for Worker's Compensation Cases anymore"
at your office.
Earn 1 CLE credits or 1 Trial Law certification credits and .25 ethics credit for each program. 
Phone:  954-382-1997 or Click "Schedule a Presentation" on our website at
www.fl-elderlaw.com 
Representative Special Needs Trusts, Asset Protection Planning and Guardianship Clients
 

Guardianship & Trust Professionals
 
Michael Carris, VP, Senior Trust Advisor
Regions Morgan Keegan Trust
Ft. Lauderdale
954-769-5830 

 

Barry Givner, Sr. V.P, Wealth Mgt. Specialist
Coconut Grove Bank
2701 S. Bayshore Dr.
Miami
305-860-2756
 
Jean Smith, V. P.  Trust Advisor
Sun Trust Bank, N.A.
Fort Lauderdale
954-765-7231

 

Lori Shuman-Auspitz,
Registered Professional Guardian Weston, FL
954-349-2134

 

Attorneys
 
Earl Denney; Bill King; Jack Hill
Searcy Denney, et al
West Palm Beach
561-686-6300

 

Ervin Gonzalez; Patrick Montoya
Colson, Hicks, Eidson
Coral Gables
305-476-7400

 

Nancy LaVista
Clark Fountain La Vista Prather Keen & Kittky-Rubin
West Palm Beach
561-961-2300

Gloretta Hall; Linnes Finney
Gary, Williams, et al
Stuart
800-329-4279

 

Mark Sylvester
Leesfield & Parners
Miami
305-854-4900

 

Mitchell Panter
Panter, Panter & Sampedro
Miami
305-662-6178

 

Daniel Larson
Vaka Larson Johnson
Tampa
813-228-6688

 

Lon Worth Crow
Sebring
863-382-2374

 

Don Hinkle
Hinkle & Foran
Tallahassee
850-205-2055

 

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  SAVE THE DATE
  
Earn 7.5 CLE & 3 Ethics Credits

Monday, 9/26/11
8am-4pm includes Lunch
Palm Beach County Bar Office
Broward & Miami Dates TBA  

Attorney & Paralegal CLE Advanced Level Seminar

Navigating the Maze: Identifying & Resolving Issues in the Personal Injury Settlement for Clients with a Disability or Special Needs.

Pre-register: $75
At the door: $100

 

Stephanie L. Schneider Board Certified Elder Law Attorney and Ann Koerner, RN, National Care Advisors will present an interactive seminar on how to identify and resolve elder law issues that arise in a personal injury, negligence or medical malpractice case such as the Medicaid third party lien, guardianship, special needs trust, probate,and  Medicare set-aside arrangements.Lunchtime Guest Speakers: Structured Settlement Specialists & Trust Officers to be announced.

 

Credits may be available for Florida Registered Paralegals and Certified Legal Assistants through the National Association of Legal Assistants. 

 

Thank you for visting us at the Florida Justice Association Annual Conference.

 

Please call us if we can assist you with cases to co-create solutions that bring your clients peace of mind.

PRACTICE AREAS
  Estate & Incapacity
  Planning

♦ Probate & Trust   
   Administration

 

♦ Last Will & Testament

♦ Revocable Trust

♦ Durable Power of Attorney

♦ Designation of Healthcare 
  Surrogate

♦ Quit Claim Deed

♦ Living Will

  Advocacy Services
 
♦ Guardianships (adults &
  minors)/Guadian Advocacy

♦ Long Term Care Facility
   Residents' Rights

♦ Medicaid Applications &
   Appeals

♦ Veterans Benfits Planning

Government Assistance

 

♦ Special Needs Trusts

♦ Representation of Trustees

♦ Protecting Lawsuit
  Proceeds & Inheritances
  while Preserving Medicaid &
  SSI Eligibilty

♦ Exceptions to Medicaid
   Lien Recovery

 

♦ Reduction of Third
   Party Medicaid Liens
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Stephanie Schneider, CELA
The firm congratulates Stephanie L. Schneider for being selected as a
Top Lawyer in Elder Law in the 2011
 South Florida Legal Guide
and being named in
Florida SuperLawyers 2011
 Stephanie is accredited by the Veterans Administration
to counsel clients about veterans benefits planning.

Stephanie L. Schneider &

 Staff