Stephanie L. Schneider, PA Newsletter
Elder Law News Lawyers Can Use
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.
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.
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.
|Representative Special Needs Trusts, Asset Protection Planning and Guardianship Clients|
Guardianship & Trust Professionals
Michael Carris, VP, Senior Trust Advisor
Regions Morgan Keegan Trust
Richard Conger, Sr. Trust Advisor
John Harris, Managing Director
Coral Gables Trust
Denise Lettau, V.P. Trust Advisor
Sun Trust Bank, N.A.
Earl Denney; Bill King; Jack Hill
Searcy Denney, et al
West Palm Beach
Ervin Gonzalez; Patrick Montoya
Colson, Hicks, Eidson
Clark Fountain La Vista Prather Keen & Kittky-Rubin
West Palm Beach
561-961-2300Gloretta Hall; Linnes Finney
Gary, Williams, et al
Leesfield & Partners
Levine & Glassman, LLC
Panter, Panter & Sampedro
Vaka Larson Johnson
Lon Worth Crow
Hinkle & Foran
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Effective April, 27, 2012
Our new address is:
1776 N. Pine Island Rd.
Plantation, FL 33322
We invite you to call or visit us in our new office and peruse our
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
♦ Guardianships (adults &
♦ Long Term Care Facility
♦ Medicaid Applications &
♦ Veterans Benfits Planning
♦ Special Needs Trusts
♦ Representation of Trustees
♦ Protecting Lawsuit
Proceeds & Inheritances
while Preserving Medicaid &
♦ Exceptions to Medicaid
♦ Reduction of Third
Party Medicaid Liens
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"
4701 NW 33rd Ave., Oakland Park, FL 33309
For Information or to RSVP to any of our programs