Thomas D. Begley, Jr. Named 2014 PLAN/NJ Legal Champion
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.
Begley Law Group, P.C.
509 S. Lenola Road, Building 7
Moorestown, NJ 08057
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by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA The following chart compares the advantages and disadvantages of an outright transfer of assets and putting assets in a Children’s Trust. Trusts v. Transfers Comparison Issue Children’s Trusts Individuals Look-Back Five Years Five Years Control None None Risk Avoidance Yes No Estate Recovery Maybe No Income Tax Parent Children Gift Tax Maybe Yes Step Up in Basis Yes No Principal Residence Exclusion Yes No
- FUNDING AND TAX CONSIDERATIONS INVOLVING CHILDREN’S TRUSTS IN MEDICAID PLANNING
by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA Funding Many clients who use Children’s Trusts as part of their Medicaid planning are non-crisis planning clients. They either have an early diagnosis or are elderly but in good health. They are doing advance planning and want a sense of independence. They do not want all of their assets in a trust. Good practice dictates that the lawyer have a discussion with the client and determine how much the client feels should be kept out of the trust to give the client a feeling of comfort. The client should understand that the funds retained [...]
- CHILDREN’S TRUSTS AND MEDICAID PLANNING
by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA (Originally published in the June issue of “The Straight Word”) Under a Children’s Trust typically a parent transfers assets to an irrevocable trust for the benefit of her children and reserves no right to access to either income or principal. One or more children usually serve as trustee. The trust document authorizes the trustee to distribute income and principal to children, subject to the approval of a trust advisor who is not a trust beneficiary. The trust advisor may be a spouse of a trust beneficiary or even an attorney or law firm. A [...]