Recent Study Shows Perils of Not Having a Special Needs Trust Reports New Jersey Special Needs Planning Lawyer
Moorestown, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) November 18, 2011 - New Jersey special needs planning attorney Thomas D. Begley, Jr. presented a teleconference on November 15 about "What's So Special About a Special Needs Trust". The accomplished attorney is part of the Begley Law Group P.C., has co-authored the Special Needs Trust Handbook, and is a regular speaker at national conferences. During the teleconference, he explained how special needs attorneys, estate planning lawyers, and financial advisors can create an even better practice by knowing the latest developments in the special needs development field.
“As an attorney or advisor, you want to be on top of recent developments in the field to give your client and the individual with special needs the best advice to help them access resources and preserve benefits and assets,” said Begley, who is also a founding member of the Special Needs Alliance and its past president.
In a recent Hartford study, more than 62 percent of parents have no plan for their child with special needs and more than half have not set up appropriate mechanisms to leave money to their child or have named them as beneficiaries. “A special needs trust is critical to give them monies to pay for their care and help them enjoy life long after you are gone,” said Begley. “Plus, it can be created to still give them public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.”
Overall, two types of special needs trusts are available and Begley explained how it is paramount to pick an ideal trustee that understands public benefits, acts in the best interests of the beneficiary, has investment expertise, and understands taxes. Sometimes families hire a professional to do these services or a family member that can be relied on. Trust protectors can also be helpful to monitor a trustee.
Other key issues include the trust’s availability, any transfer penalties subject to the rules of SSI and/or Medicaid, and Medicaid payback provisions that affect a self-settled special needs trust but not a third-party special needs trusts. It is also important to include language in the trust document to define these key issues.
“Drafting Special Needs Trusts: Including POMS Revisions” and the legal implications were discussed in the second half of the teleconference. In this section, Begley highlighted that a special needs trust must take into consideration the Social Security Administration’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS) so that POMS accurately interprets the special needs trust.
Attorneys and advisors can also elevate their role with a special needs individual and their loved ones by also reviewing estate planning options and other considerations. “Being able to give your client the confidence that you are helping them to create a solid financial path for their child with special needs shows that you are able to guide them every step of the way,” said Begley.
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Moorestown, NJ 08057
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