Do you believe that a special needs trust (SNT) is the only solution regardless of the client's needs or the amount of the settlement?  Is the thought of advising your client about how to protect their settlement proceeds and preserve their government benefits eligibility overwhelming?  You are not alone.


Navigating the field of planning options may look like a maze to you. We have been navigating that maze skillfully for 20 years. I have the expertise to create solutions tailored to your client's specific circumstances. Learn more in this month's newsletter and let us be your light out of the "SNT" tunnel.


We look forward to continuing to collaborate with you and your clients to co-create solutions that achieve their goals and may create peace of mind.


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

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

In This Issue: SNT Tunnel Vision; 4/16 Free Seminar - Join us
Do You Have Special Needs Trust Tunnel Vision?
Free Seminar April 16th
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Stephanie L. Schneider, PA Newsletter
Elder Law News Lawyers Can Use
April 2012

Do You Have Special Needs Trust Tunnel Vision? 

The use of a special needs trust (SNT) as a planning tool to preserve settlement proceeds and maintain government benefits eligibility should not be presumed appropriate for every client. For many years there have been articles and advertising focusing on the benefits of special needs trusts.  Special Needs Trusts are, in fact, a gift given to us by the federal government.  Creating the right asset protection plan takes considerable analysis and deliberate steps.  One size does not fit all and you want a plan that is tailored to your client.
 Facts To Analyze:
1. Age of client: If your client is 65+ years or older the federal law prohibits the use of an individually written special needs trust.
2. Disability: If your client does not meet the SSA definition of 'disabled' we cannot create a special needs trust.
3.  Value of Net Proceeds: Creating and administering a special needs trust should be cost effective for a client. If a client will net $50K it is not financially prudent to prepare a SNT and we will explore other legal planning options. 
4.  Competency: Is the client competent to agree to the creation of a special needs trust? If not, we must explore having a guardian appointed to create the trust.
5.  Martial status: Is the client married or single? There are many more planning options available when a client is married simply because the law provides added protections for married couples.
Alternative Planning Options:
There are many other planning options available all of which are legal. Here are just a few of the facts we consider when recommending other planning options to help clients maintain government benefits:

1.  Pooled Trust: If the client is older than 65 years of age or, the net proceeds don't justify the cost associated with a special needs trust we will explore a pooled trust with the client. It is managed by a non-profit organization and usually has a lower administrative fee.

2.  Purchasing Exempt Resources: Under the SSA law and Medicaid law there are certain types of resources that do not count even though they have a monetary value.  If the facts are appropriate we may recommend the purchase of an exempt resource such as a home or, paying off a mortgage or other debts.

3.  Personal Service Contract:  Where a client is a caregiver for an aging parent, we may be able to create a contract whereby the child is compensated for the value of future services to be provided. 
4.  Disabled adult child: If the client has a disabled adult child we may be able to transfer some or all of the net proceeds to a special needs trust for the child while simultaneously preserving the client's government benefits.
When meeting with you and your client we will carefully explore these issues as well as the family dynamics to provide a tailor-made plan to fulfill the client's needs.  Our analysis includes a detailed written opinion letter that explains the law and evaluates the planning options.  Don't trust your client's future with just anyone - put your trust and confidence in my Board Certification as an 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 and your clients navigate the elder law maze!

Free Seminar to Honor
National Healthcare Decisions Day

April 16, 2010

Anyone over age 18 needs advance directives to make their healthcare wishes known and avoid guardianship. Please feel free to share with your colleagues, clients and their families.
NHDD Seminar

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


Richard Conger, Sr. Trust Advisor
John Harris, Managing Director
Coral Gables Trust
Coral Gables
Denise Lettau, V.P. Trust Advisor
Sun Trust Bank, N.A.
Fort Lauderdale



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-Rubin
West Palm Beach

Gloretta Hall; Linnes Finney
Gary, Williams, et al


Leesfield & Partners


Levine & Glassman, LLC
Weston, FL
Mitchell Panter
Panter, Panter & Sampedro


Daniel Larson
Vaka Larson Johnson


Lon Worth Crow


Don Hinkle
Hinkle & Foran
We invite you to share this newsletter.
Please consider the environment before printing. 
Please mark this email as a safe sender so that you may continue receiving this useful information. 
Thank you.
We're Moving
Stephanie L. Schneider, PA
Effective April, 27, 2012
Our new address is:
1776 N. Pine Island Rd.
Suite 208
Plantation, FL 33322
Phone: 954-382-1997
Fax: 954-382-9997
We invite you to call or visit us in our new office and peruse our
Resource Center
for information to assist seniors, families with special needs, veterans & government benefits recipients, etc.
  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

Monday, April, 16, 2012

5:00pm - 6:30pm
National Healthcare Decisions Day

Dr. Karen Kennedy, Medical Dir.

Hospice of Broward County

"Hospice: Myths & Facts"

Stephanie L. Schneider, CELA

"Advanced Directives: We Can Work it Out"


Impact Broward
4701 NW 33rd Ave., Oakland Park, FL 33309

For Information or to RSVP to any of our programs

Call 954-382-1997

or Email: