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Legal Updates

Special Needs Planning - May 2019 Newsletter


Special Needs News is an e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to those with special needs and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by Jennifer Exum and the other members of the Special Needs Planning Practice Group of Chambliss Law Firm.

Chambliss Law Firm Monthly Editorial

May the Circle be Unbroken: Coordinating a Circle of (Professional) Support
for Special Needs Planning

by Cameron Kapperman

Frequently estate planning attorneys encounter clients who have sought out legal advice for the purpose of planning for children or grandchildren with special needs. After all, with the cost of caregiving for an individual with disabilities ranging from $19 an hour for a personal care assistant to $120,000 a year for a private room at an institutional care facility, it is not uncommon for our clients' greatest concern to be ensuring their loved one has funds available for optimal levels of care after death.

While an estate planning attorney often creates systems and plans to care for an individual with special needs following a parent or guardian's death, it's not realistic for the attorney to effectively deal with all of the steps that will be necessary to ensure that the systems and plans function properly. Instead, the parent or guardian will need to coordinate a circle of professional support – a circle of advisors and professionals, including an estate planning attorney, financial advisors, insurance professionals, trust officers, and care coordinators, to ensure that all systems and plans are properly executed. [Click to read the full story.]

Invite Others to Contribute to the Trust

Members of the extended family and friends can also make gifts to a special needs trust once it has been set up. Read more

Will the Government Start Monitoring the Social Media of Disability Applicants?

A new proposal is raising fears that the Social Security Administration will start monitoring social media accounts when determining whether people are eligible for SSI and SSDI. Read more


Gift Cards: A New Way to Contribute to ABLE Accounts

People wishing to help someone with special needs save for their future without jeopardizing the recipient's public benefits can now do so using a "Gift of Independence" card. Read more


Stormy Daniels' Lawyer Michael Avenatti Charged with Embezzling $4 Million Intended for Special Needs Trust

California attorney Michael Avenatti has been charged with stealing from the settlements of clients, among them a paraplegic who was waiting for Avenatti to deposit his settlement funds into a special needs trust (SNT). Read more