» 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

  • ESTABLISHING A DISABILITY ANNUITY TRUST FOR A BENEFICIARY RECEIVING SSDI OR SSI
    by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA A Disability Annuity Trust (“DAT”) can be established for a disabled child or any disabled individual.[1] However, in considering the use of a DAT for a disabled person, care must be taken to examine the other government benefits currently being received, or which may be received in the future by the person with disabilities. If the person with disabilities is receiving Supplemental Security Disability Income (“SSDI”), this is usually accompanied by Medicare. SSDI and Medicare are insurance-based programs, rather than means-based programs. Receipt of income from the DAT would not cause a loss of [...]
  • WHAT DOES “SOLE BENEFIT OF” MEAN WITH RESPECT TO A DISABILITY ANNUITY TRUST
    by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA The key issue concerning trusts “for the sole benefit of” is availability. In a private letter, HCFA, now CMS, has taken the position that a trust established for the sole benefit of a community spouse under HCFA Transmittal 64 is an available resource.[1] HCFA maintained that there is a material difference between a standard annuity and an “annuitized” trust. HCFA states: a standard annuity can protect the funds used to purchase the annuity from being counted as resources in determining eligibility for Medicaid. However, there is a fundamental difference between a standard annuity and [...]
  • DISABILITY ANNUITY TRUSTS
    by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA The Concept. A sole benefit of trust is a creature of HCFA Transmittal 64.[1] These trusts have traditionally been used in crisis planning. They can be established for the benefit of disabled persons—a Disability Annuity Trust (“DAT”).[2] The idea is that assets would be transferred to an irrevocable trust for the sole benefit of the disabled individual. The assets in the trust were then paid out to the beneficiary on an actuarially sound basis using the actuarial tables contained in HCFA Transmittal 64.[3] However, some states, including New Jersey, maintain that despite the clear [...]

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