Before we know it the holidays will soon be here and so will CMS mandatory reporting in liability cases.  Make sure you are up-to-date with CMS requirements by using our firm's services to help you navigate the maze of planning issues that arise when your cases settle.  We are happy to report that we are donating CLE proceeds to Legal Aid Service of Broward County Inc.  We will be hosting the CLE again in 2012 so if you were unable to attend in 2011 you will have another opportunity. 

Here's what some had to say: 
"This is very important to know" - 6 Florida Registered Paralegals, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath

"Excellent seminar, very informative", H. Montero, Esquire - Member, Million Dollar Advocates Forum
"...would be beneficial on a state-wide level", C. Fischer, Esquire - ABOTA (Broward) Board Member

"Its not about the credits, its about the content", J. Ginsberg, Esquire


We invite you to email to be sure you receive CLE schedule updates. CMS wants you - Are you ready?


We are your one stop shop for cutting edge elder law services. 

Happy Holidays,
Stephanie L. Schneider, CELA  
Stephanie L. Schneider, PA

In This Issue: Protect your clients and your practice- Read more...
CMS Releases New Memorandum Providing Guidance on Exception to Liability Medicare Set Aside
Avoid Guardianship - Single Parents Need Proper Planning
Welcome to Our Success Corner
Events & Seminars
News, Events, Programs

Stephanie L. Schneider, PA Newsletter
Elder Law News Lawyers Can Use
November/December  2011

Insurance Carriers May Delay Issuing Payment of Settlement Pending Determination of Medicare's Reimbursable Conditional Payment


As we approach January 2012 when CMS will enforce mandatory reporting by insurance carriers for liability settlements, do not be surprised if more insurance carriers delay issuing payment until Medicare's interests have been satisfied.  Insurers are concerned, and rightly so, that they will be held responsible by CMS for repayment of Medicare's conditional payment under the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute if the Plaintiff fails to satisfy the debt. While you might argue that such behavior constitutes 'bad faith' the Courts will disagree.
In June, 2011, the United States Distrist Court Western District of Kentucky decided that an insurance carrier had not acted in bad faith when it delayed issuing payment of the settlement. See Wilson v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. More insurance companies are including language in their General Release that acknowledges that the Plaintiff has a legal obligation to protect CMS' interests and identifying how much money will be set aside to satisfy Medicare's interests.  This places responsibility on the Plaintiff's counsel to conduct due diligence before the case settles to determine whether the client is or is expected to be a Medicare recipient within 30 months.  If the answer to the question is 'yes' you will want to engage a specialist with Medicare experience to review the past two years' of your client's medical records and billing to determine the proper set-aside amount.  Remember that there are exceptions to a Medicare set-aside arrangements!


 "Proper Planning May Create Peace of Mind"
We are your and your clients' partner in the aging process.  Let us help you and your clients navigate the elder law maze!

Single Parents Need Proper Planning After Divorce To Avoid Guardianship 


Do you know someone who is divorced with a minor age child? Perhaps you know someone who has a minor age child and their spouse died?  What both situations have in common is that single parents need proper planning to avoid a guardianship for themself in the event of an unforeseen incapacity or disability.


Many people who get divorced only concern themselves with having a new Last Will & Testament prepared in order to ensure their ex-spouse will not inherit their estate.  The inherent danger is that a Will is not going to help that spouse while they are alive.


In 2011 our firm helped two families become guardians of their adult relatives who did not have Durable Powers of Attorney or Designations of Health Care Surrogates in place.  Both incapacitated individuals were single moms whose ex-spouses predeceased and were raising young children.  Both individuals had medical emergencies (burst aneurysm) with no warning and no time to prepare.  While we could not have avoided a court guardianship for the minor children we could have avoided guardianships for the parents if proper planning had been done.


 If you know someone who has minor age children suggest that they consult with our law firm about creating:

1. a Durable Power of Attorney;

2. a Designation of Health Care Surrogate;

3. a Declaration of Preneed Guardian for a Minor.


By taking the time to plan families can save time, privacy and thousands of dollars.  Most of all they can have peace of mind.

sls photoWelcome to Our Success Corner

Imagine you have litigated a nursing home negligence case for years and you finally have received a reasonable offer to settle.  As you present the news to your client he says "do I have to pay back the Medicaid lien? If I do there won't be much left for me and I won't settle."  You quickly look at Florida Statute 409.9101 to see if you can negotiate the lien.  You don't find what you are looking for so you call our office.


There are several exceptions to recovery of the Medicaid estate recovery lien.  The lien cannot be enforced or collected if:


1. Plaintiff/Medicaid recipient is under age 55+ at time of death;

2. Plaintiff/Medicaid recipient owns a homestead;

3. Plaintiff/Medicaid recipient is survived by a spouse, disabled child or  disabled adult child.


There is also a waiver provision under the statute.  If a child or sibling of the plaintiff served as a caregiver for 1 year which helped delay entry into a residential facility the lien is completely waived under the hardship provision.


When you consult with us, we'll review the facts of the case to determine whether the Medicaid estate recovery lien can be waived


This is just one of many rewarding reasons why we do what we do!  Support your clients by encouraging them to consult with our firm to advocate on their behalf and put their legal affairs in order. 

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 
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


Barry Givner, Sr. V.P, Wealth Mgt. Specialist
Coconut Grove Bank
2701 S. Bayshore Dr.
Jean Smith, V. P.  Trust Advisor
Denise Lettau, V.P. Trust Advisor
Sun Trust Bank, N.A.
Fort Lauderdale


Lori Shuman-Auspitz,
Registered Professional Guardian Weston, FL


Earl Denney; Bill King; Jack Hill
Searcy Denney, et al
West Palm Beach


Ervin Gonzalez; Patrick Montoya
Colson, Hicks, Eidson
Coral Gables


Nancy LaVista
Clark Fountain La Vista Prather Keen & Kittky-Rubi
West Palm Beach

Gloretta Hall; Linnes Finney
Gary, Williams, et al


Leesfield & Parners
Mitchell Panter
Panter, Panter & Sampedro


Daniel Larson
Vaka Larson Johnson


Lon Worth Crow


Don Hinkle
Hinkle & Foran
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Click here to obtain our Fall CLE Schedule
Call 954-382-1997 to

Save $25.00 when you

 Pre-register Today!

 (Net proceeds donated to Legal Aid Service of Broward County)
Earn 7.5 CLE & 3 Ethics Credits
All progams are
lunch included
West Palm Beach
Monday, 9/26/11
 Palm Beach County Bar Office
Introductoin: Eric Romano
Fort Lauderdale
Tuesday, 10/11
450 E. Las Olas, Community Room
Introduction: Steven Jaffe

Coral Gables 

Wednesday, 11/2/11 

Riviera Country Club
Introduction: Art Garcia, Jr.


 This is an interactive, cutting edge advanced level CLE to help you identify and resolve issues that arise in a personal injury, wrongful death or medical malpractice case.  Course materials address the Medicaid third party lien, guardianship, special needs trust, liability Medicare set-aside arrangements.  Presented by Stephanie L. Schneider, CELA, Stephanie L. Schneider PA & Ann Koerner, RN, National Care Advisors.  Lunchtime Guest Speakers: Structured Settlement Specialist & Trust Officers on 'Trusts & Structures: Can They Co-Exist?'.


Credits available for Florida Registered Paralegals and Certified Legal Assistants through the National Association of Legal Assistants. Judicial Credits have been approved.


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.

  Estate & Incapacity

♦ Probate & Trust   


♦ Last Will & Testament

♦ Revocable Trust

♦ Durable Power of Attorney

♦ Designation of Healthcare 

♦ Quit Claim Deed

♦ Living Will

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

♦ Long Term Care Facility
   Residents' Rights

♦ Medicaid Applications &

♦ 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
Stephanie L. Schneider has been selected as a
Top Lawyer in Elder Law in the 2011
 South Florida Legal Guide
and Florida SuperLawyers 2011
 Stephanie is accredited by the Veterans Administration
to counsel clients about veterans benefits planning.


Seminars & Events

December 16, 2011

Palm Beach Bar Association, Elder Law Section

Medicaid Update

Palm Beach Bar Office

January 19, 2012

Suntrust Roundtable
Fort Lauderdale

Families with Special Needs

February 22

Memorial Regional


Cultural & Social Diversity

CEUs Availalbe

Call Hillary Josephs for more information or to schedule Stephanie to speak at your office or organization.