The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages the two largest government benefit programs for people with special needs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Many of the people with special needs who receive these benefits are qualified to manage their own money and can make other financial decisions for themselves. The SSA…

By their very nature, special needs trusts (SNTs) are usually designed to terminate, or at least radically change, when the trust’s primary beneficiary dies. But terminating a special needs trust is not as simple as merely writing a check to the remainder beneficiaries and calling it a day. There are several key considerations and requirements…

Not everyone will get the relief payment the federal government is sending to help Americans through the economic disruption triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Among those left out are adults with special needs and the elderly who are claimed as dependents. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included one-time payments of up to…

Trusts are important vehicles in special needs planning. They not only set aside funds to pay for the care of the person with special needs while maintaining eligibility for programs like Medicaid, but they provide ways to preserve these funds through the person’s lifetime. What happens, though, when the primary beneficiary of a special needs trust…

Parents of a child with special needs know that they must plan for the child’s care and support way into the future. This is especially so if the individual is unlikely ever to be able to earn an income. But what happens in cases of divorce? How does the issue of child support come into…

A New Jersey man has been charged with stealing $330,000 from the special needs trust (SNT) of a man living in a long-term care facility.  The case highlights the importance of having a professional trustee manage an SNT. According to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI, in December 2017 Burlington County resident Eugene Young persuaded the…

Among the many challenges for families is making sure there will always be enough money to provide lifetime care for their special needs children. The costs are daunting: therapies, housing, medical care, and education, to name just a few. One way to plan for this challenge is to set up a special needs trust. Families of…

If you are in the process of setting up a special needs trust, you must appoint a trustee. This is one of the most important decisions you’ll make about the trust.  The trustee must have the necessary expertise to manage the trust, including making proper investments, paying bills, keeping accounts, and preparing tax returns.  Moreover, the…

For some people with disabilities, home ownership may present a uniquely empowering opportunity. But for many others, purchasing a home through a special needs trust may be in the beneficiary’s best interests. Home ownership comes with many pitfalls and responsibilities. Buying a home through a special needs trust, rather than through the beneficiary or a family…

California attorney Michael Avenatti, who came to national attention for his representation of adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump, was recently charged in federal court with 36 counts of tax fraud, bankruptcy fraud and stealing from the settlements of clients. Among those clients is a paraplegic who was waiting for…

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