» Thomas D. Begley, Jr. Named 2014 PLAN/NJ Legal Champion

Thomas D. Begley, Jr. Named 2014 PLAN/NJ Legal Champion

The Begley Law Group

Moorestown, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) April 3, 2014 - Each year, the Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of New Jersey (PLAN/NJ) selects a Legal Champion, an individual who has profoundly impacted the system of support for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill in the state of New Jersey. This year, the organization has selected Begley Law Group attorney Thomas D. Begley, Jr. for the honor.

The Legal Champion Award recognizes a legal professional whose “concerted efforts, leadership, commitment and acute knowledge of this special area of law [have been] used to elevate the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.”

Begley's 50-year legal career has been devoted to special needs trusts, Veteran's benefits, Medicaid planning, disability law, elder law and personal injury consulting. He is a past President and a founding member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national network of lawyers dedicated to serving the families of those with disabilities.

Additionally, he is a past Chair of the Elder and Disability Law, the Real Property Probate and the Trust Law Sections of the New Jersey State Bar Association. The attorney has also authored a book on trust and estate law practices and co-authored two more on special needs trusts and representing elderly and disabled clients. Most recently, Begley spoke on irrevocable trusts as a faculty member of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.

Begley is honored and humbled by the recognition from PLAN/NJ. “I'm proud to contribute to PLAN/NJ's work,” he says. “I want to make sure that every family with a disabled member has the resources and aid they need to build full, stable lives. It's one of my driving goals as an attorney.”

Now celebrating its 25th year of operation, PLAN/NJ is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing connections, support and planning tools for families of persons with disabilities and disabling illnesses. PLAN/NJ helps families ensure the well-being of a loved one after they themselves pass away; it guides them through the creation of special needs trusts and provides resources for legal, estate and independent living planning. The organization focuses on helping individuals with severe mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as well as with developmental disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities. They also provide services for people with traumatic brain injuries.

Begley Law Group is a premier law firm with more than 80 years of experience in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Every partner at Begley Law Group is a recipient of the prestigious New Jersey Super Lawyers award. Begley Law Group attorneys are experts at elder and disability law and are at the forefront of the latest legislative developments that are critical for the rights of their clients.

Colleen Caruso
Begley Law Group, P.C.
509 S. Lenola Road, Building 7
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Tel: 800.533.7227

  • WHAT IS A SELF-SETTLED SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST?
    by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA Trusts for disabled individuals who have not reached age 65 and are funded with assets of the disabled person are authorized under OBRA-93.[1] The trust is for the benefit of disabled persons. The person must be under 65 at the inception of the trust. While the trust must be established and funded prior to the beneficiary attaining the age of 65, it may continue after 65. If the trust is funded with a structured settlement prior to the beneficiary attaining the age of 65, the trust remains viable even though payments from the annuity [...]
  • WHAT IS A THIRD PARTY SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST?
    by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA A Third Party Special Needs Trust is usually used in a Medicaid context not for the benefit of the grantor of the trust, but for the beneficiary. The grantor of the trust is typically a parent, but could be grandparent, sibling, other relative or friend. The grantor uses the grantor’s assets to fund the trust. The assets of the beneficiary cannot be used to fund a Third Party Special Needs Trust. In order for the trust to be a Special Needs Trust, the beneficiary must be disabled. Disability is usually determined by the fact [...]
  • USING SELF-SETTLED SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS TO PROTECT PUBLIC BENEFITS
    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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