Special Needs Planning – November 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
Special Needs Planning and Capacity
by Jennifer Kent Exum
Not a week goes by that I am not asked to make a judgment call about a client’s capacity to sign a will, power of attorney, or other legal document. In fact, every time I sit down with a client to sign any legal document, I must make a determination about that client’s capacity to sign.
In most cases, it is easy to determine that the client understands the language and purpose of the document and is intentionally signing without pressure. Occasionally, the determination is not as simple. Perhaps the client has recently had a stroke and urgently needs an updated power of attorney during recovery so family members can assist with paying bills, or sometimes the client has a diagnosis of dementia and has been instructed by physicians to update estate planning documents. In cases like those, or when any impairment is suspected, we take additional steps to ensure that the client understands the document and is making the decisions freely. [Click to read the full story.]
Making Gifts for Persons Who Have Special Needs
Many people are getting ready to make gifts to family members, but gifts of cash or certain types of gift cards can compromise the eligibility for government benefits of a family member with special needs.
Bill Introduced to Raise SSI Asset Limit, Make Other Reforms
The amount of money that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients can have without losing benefits has been frozen at $2,000 since 1989. New legislation would increase that limit and make other changes.
Lawmakers Starting to Combat Discrimination Against Tenants Who Receive Housing Aid
California, New York, and other state and city governments are enacting legislation to combat discrimination by landlords against people who pay rent with Section 8 vouchers, including many people with disabilities.
Veterans Disability Benefits Now Protected in Bankruptcy Proceedings
Eliminating a cruel quirk in federal bankruptcy law, newly enacted legislation protects veterans disability benefits from creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.