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ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ABLE ACCOUNTS

Posted by: Begley Law Group

by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., Esquire, CELA Congress enacted and the President has signed legislation known as the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014.387 The Act is modeled on 529 Plans and will provide tax-favored accounts for individuals with disabilities to pay for qualified expenses. Before these accounts can be implemented, two things must happen: (1) the federal government must adopt regulations governing the accounts, and (2) state must either create their own ABLE accounts or contract with other states to do so. It is likely that these accounts will operate in a manner similar to existing […]

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Filed under Blog, Blog Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning, Estate Planning, Long Term Care, Medicaid Applications, Medicaid Planning, Special Needs Planning.
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FUNDING SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS

Posted by: Begley Law Group

by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA Overview Estate planning attorneys are regularly called upon to draft trusts for their clients’ children with disabilities. Typically, these children are determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration and are receiving SSI, Medicaid, or other means-tested public benefits. The goal of the parent in establishing the trust is to maintain public benefits for the child with disabilities while providing an inheritance to enrich the child’s life. The inheritance is to supplement, not supplant, public benefits. There is an old adage that there are two ways to screw up a Special Needs Trust: […]

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DIVORCE AND PUBLIC BENEFITS

Posted by: Begley Law Group

by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA Many divorces involve families in which a spouse or child has disabilities. Family law attorneys should always ask if this is the situation. In many instances, the individuals with disabilities are receiving public benefits and many other that may be eligible for benefits but are not aware of their eligibility and have not applied. For many means-tested public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, there is an asset test of $2,000 in addition to an income test. Assets transferred from a healthy spouse to a spouse with disabilities, through equitable distribution, […]

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Filed under Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning, Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Trusts, Uncategorized.
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ABLE ACCOUNTS ARE COMING TO NEW JERSEY

Posted by: Begley Law Group

by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA New Jersey has passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience ACT (“ABLE”). While the Act has passed, it will take some time to implement. Many commentators believe that by the end of the year accounts will be authorized. Under the ABLE Act, people with disabilities and their families may set up special savings accounts similar to 529 Plans to be used for disability-related expenses. Earnings on these accounts are non-taxable. Generally, if the fund does not exceed $100,000, it will not be counted for Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) purposes. If the fund exceeds $100,000 […]

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Filed under Estate Planning, Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning, Special Needs Planning.
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USING SELF-SETTLED SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS TO PROTECT PUBLIC BENEFITS

Posted by: Begley Law Group

Many public benefits available to persons with disabilities, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, place limits on income and certain types of assets. Exceeding such limits can lead individuals to lose some or all of their benefits. Individuals receiving SSI are limited to $2,000 of assets. For many individuals, their Medicaid is linked to their SSI. Today there are many Medicaid Waiver Programs. In many states the asset limit for these waiver programs is also $2,000, but this varies from program-to-program and from state-to-state. Assets held in ABLE accounts do not affect SSI until the ABLE account reaches […]

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Filed under Blog Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning, Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Trusts.
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CONSIDERATIONS IN DRAFTING A DISABILITY ANNUITY SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST

Posted by: Begley Law Group

by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA There are four main issues to be considered in drafting any trust involving a potential Medicaid recipient. These include: Availability; Transfer of asset penalty; Payback provision; and Tax considerations, including income, gift and estate taxes. Let’s examine each of these issues in the context of a DASNT. Availability. The assets in the DASNT would not be available, because the trust would be designed to give the trustee complete discretion with respect to distributions. Standard Third-Party Special Needs Trust language would be used in designing the trust. The standard DAT language would also be included. […]

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Filed under PISpecialNeeds, Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Trusts, Special Needs Trusts.
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DISABILITY ANNUITY SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST

Posted by: Begley Law Group

by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA One of the trusts used in Medicaid Planning is a Disability Annuity Special Needs Trust (“DASNT”). A previous article discussed a Disability Annuity Trust (“DAT”). These trusts are designed so that an individual can establish a trust and transfer assets to the trust for the benefit of a disabled child of any age or a disabled individual under age 65 without incurring a Medicaid transfer of asset penalty. The problem with that trust is that the assets in the trust are considered available for public benefit purposes. Therefore, if a DAT were established for […]

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WHAT DOES “SOLE BENEFIT OF” MEAN WITH RESPECT TO A DISABILITY ANNUITY TRUST

Posted by: Begley Law Group

by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA The key issue concerning trusts “for the sole benefit of” is availability. In a private letter, HCFA, now CMS, has taken the position that a trust established for the sole benefit of a community spouse under HCFA Transmittal 64 is an available resource.[1] HCFA maintained that there is a material difference between a standard annuity and an “annuitized” trust. HCFA states: a standard annuity can protect the funds used to purchase the annuity from being counted as resources in determining eligibility for Medicaid. However, there is a fundamental difference between a standard annuity and […]

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Filed under Estate Planning, Life Care Planning, Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Trusts, Special Needs Trusts.
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WRAPPING A MEDICARE SET-ASIDE ARRANGEMENT INSIDE A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST

Posted by: Begley Law Group

by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., Esquire, CELA In any recovery involving a personal injury case, the interest of Medicare must be considered.[1] The idea is that because Medicare is a secondary payer, a beneficiary should not be permitted to receive a recovery for future medical care, pocket the money, and then bill Medicare for that future medical care. Are MSAs Appropriate in TPL Cases? A Medicare Set-Aside Arrangement (MSA) is never required. In the context of Workers’ Compensation (WC) settlements it is a safe harbor. It should be a safe harbor in the context of Third Party Liability (TPL) settlements […]

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Filed under Estate Planning, Special Needs Trusts.
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The Voice® December 2014 – Official Newsletter of the Special Needs Alliance

Posted by: Begley Admin

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Filed under Blog, Blog Special Needs Planning, News, Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Trusts, Special Needs Trusts.
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DISTRIBUTIONS FROM SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS FOR CAREGIVERS – PART 1

Posted by: Begley Law Group

by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA This is the first part of a two-part article on distributions from special needs trusts for caregivers.(The other articles in the series are here: Part 2 and Part 3.)  It is often necessary for a family to hire a caregiver to assist in providing care for a child, even an adult child, with disabilities. The special needs trust can pay for this care, but certain rules must be followed. There are a number of considerations when a trustee hires a caregiver for the beneficiary with disabilities. Certain rules pertain whether the caregiver is a family […]

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Filed under Blog Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Planning, Special Needs Trusts, Special Needs Trusts.
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USE OF CREDIT CARDS AND GIFT CARDS IN ADMINISTERING A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST

Posted by: Begley Law Group

[This article was originally printed in the Straight Word, a publication of the Burlington County Bar Association.] In administering a special needs trust, it is crucial that the trustee not advance cash to the beneficiary. Historically, beneficiaries have sent their bills to the trustee for payment. An easier way to accomplish this objective is to obtain a credit card for the trust beneficiary. If the beneficiary has good credit, the card can be obtained in the beneficiary’s name. If the beneficiary does not have good credit or is a minor or is incapacitated, a credit card could be obtained in […]

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FACT GUIDE FOR NATIONAL TRUST TRAINING: THE IMPACT ON SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS

Posted by: Begley Law Group

[This article was originally printed in the Straight Word, a publication of the Burlington County Bar Association.] FACT GUIDE FOR NATIONAL TRUST TRAINING:  THE IMPACT ON SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA The Social Security Administration (SSA) has divided the country into ten Regions. Historically, each Region has had one individual primarily in charge of reviewing special need trusts. Trusts in New Jersey are reviewed by the New York Region. Trusts in Pennsylvania are reviewed by the Philadelphia Region. About a year ago, SSA decided to train additional individuals to review these trusts. A team of seven […]

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Thomas Begley Jr. to Be Honored For Service to the Disabled

Posted by: Begley Admin

Begley Law Group’s Tom Begley Jr. will be one of two people honored during the 25th anniversary celebration of Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of New Jersey. A founding member of the Begley Law Group and the Special Needs Alliance, Begley will be presented with the PLAN NJ Legal Champion Award for a 40-year career devoted to the disabled and elderly.  The ceremony will be held June 5 at 6 p.m. at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of New Jersey, PLAN NJ, a nonprofit social service agency will celebrate 25 years of serving individuals with severe […]

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UCP Motor Cars at the Ballpark 2012

Posted by: Begley Law Group

On Wednesday, June 13, 2012 attorneys and staff from Begley Law Group enjoyed a night at Citizens Bank Park for “UCP Motor Cars at the Ballpark.” Begley Law Group was an “Excellence Partner” and co-sponsor of the annual event, which presented a curated collection of privately owned classic cars and motorcycles for the special guests to enjoy.  The event raised more than $200,000 for an excellent cause.   United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia & Vicinity enables people with disabilities to live a life without limits. They work to help children and adults with disabilities live as independently as possible, while […]

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We provide elder law services in the following areas:
New Jersey and Pennsylvania Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Applications, Asset Protection, Special Needs Trust, Estate and Trust administration and Estate Planning.
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