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Trustees of special needs trusts are increasingly relying on “administrator-managed prepaid debit cards,” such as True Link cards, when disbursing funds to beneficiaries.  These cards offer trust beneficiaries greater independence and the ability to get what they need more quickly.  But such cards existed in a regulatory gray area as far as the Social Security.. read more →

For additional information concerning NJ elder law and special needs planning visit: NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Services read more →

For additional information concerning special needs trusts and disability planning, visit: NJ Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning read more →

Recently, the Social Security Administration (SSA) published Transmittal No. 74, revising Part 05 of SSA’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS) covering Resource Exclusions in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program pertaining to Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts.  In the introduction to the new ABLE POMS, SSA said: Background This transmittal includes the current published guidance.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court vacated an order approving a settlement and placing it in a special needs trust (SNT), ruling that there was no “meeting of the minds” between the parties. V.M. v. Jersey Shore University Medical Center, (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., A-0781-16T1, Nov. 3, 2017). LaTanya Murphy and her adult son V.M… read more →

Our law firm has created a number of Legal Guides for our clients and website guests to provide a better understanding of important and oftentimes complex legal subjects. The Legal Guides are offered free of charge. One of the Legal Guides available to the public discusses Special Needs Trusts and Special Needs Planning. Parents of children.. read more →

Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will provide an overview of the use of Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) by disabled persons so as to prevent an applicant’s financial assets and income from impacting eligibility for needs-based public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), Section 8 Housing and.. read more →

I came across the 2018 version of a Social Security Administration (SSA) publication below. Not only has the agency updated the publication to include Special Needs Trusts, but SSA added information about Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts as well.  And the agency included hyperlinks to other helpful information. This may assist applicants with.. read more →

The amount that people with disabilities can deposit in an ABLE account each year without jeopardizing eligibility for needs-based governmental benefits will rise from the current $14,000 to $15,000 starting in 2018. Under the law, total annual deposits to ABLE accounts are limited to the federal gift tax exclusion limit set by the IRS. The.. read more →

The 19th Annual Elder and Disability Law Symposium was held on November 9, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, NJ. As in past years, I presented the case law update at the opening plenary session. This year I summarized 40 elder and disability law cases decided from September 2016 through August.. read more →

New Jersey’s ABLE law (the acronym is short for “Achieving a Better Life Experience”) went into effect a few months ago, in October 2016.  Under the new law, New Jersey’s Department of Human Services and the Department of the Treasury are required to establish the ABLE Program pursuant to federal law. Persons who became disabled.. read more →

The Memorandum of Intent is a personal letter drafted by you intended to give your trustees insight and information regarding services, supports and other personal matters affecting the beneficiary of a special needs trust you created. This letter does not convey legally binding directions like those in a trust. Rather, a Memorandum of Intent is.. read more →

Many attorneys create trusts, and some even create special needs trusts, often using pre-written templates.  So why, you may ask, do you really need an attorney whose practice focuses on special needs planning? It is important that special needs trusts not be unnecessarily inflexible and generic, which is what can happen with a “one size.. read more →

A California court of appeals affirmed a jury award against the owner of a construction company who fraudulently induced a special needs trust trustee who was himself disabled to transfer title of the beneficiary’s family home to him, and that the conduct warranted punitive damages ten times the amount of compensatory damage award.  Haworth v… read more →

In a prior blog post, I discussed the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, recently-enacted federal legislation that will allow people with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts instead of having to rely on others.  The new law was included in the 21st Century Cures Act,  a $6.3 billion package of health-related initiatives that has also.. read more →

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, federal legislation that will allow people with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts instead of having to rely on others, has been signed into law by President Obama.  The measure was included in the 21st Century Cures Act, a $6.3 billion package of health-related initiatives that has also.. read more →

(On December 1, 2016, I moderated the first Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium, an all-day event held at the New Jersey Law Center. In addition to moderating the panel of speakers, I also presented on the topic of the “Uses of Special Needs Trusts in Cases Involving Divorce.” Due to the length of my paper,.. read more →

(On December 1, 2016, I moderated the first Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium, an all-day event held at the New Jersey Law Center. In addition to moderating the panel of speakers, I also presented on the topic of the “Uses of Special Needs Trusts in Divorce.” Due to the length of my paper, I divided.. read more →

On November 15, 2016, I presented at the Second Annual Caring for Caregivers Conference at the East Rutherford Community Center. The first section of my presentation focused on guardianship law in New Jersey, Public Benefit Basics, and the use of Special Needs Trusts by parents of adult disabled children. The powerpoint slides I prepared for.. read more →

The VA’s Survivor Benefit Plan Program The Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides eligible beneficiaries with a monthly annuity payment for the lifetime of the beneficiary. The amount of the benefit is a percentage of the veteran’s retirement benefit. Election to participate in an SBP is generally made.. read more →

“Use of Special Needs Trusts in Cases Involving Divorce”  to be presented by leading NJ Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney, Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., who will also act as Moderator of the Symposium Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq. (http://VanarelliLaw.com/) will moderate and present at the Advanced Special Needs Trust Symposium given by the New Jersey Institute.. read more →

Reversing a federal district court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that a state housing authority cannot count distributions from a special needs trust as income in determining eligibility under the Section 8 housing voucher program. DeCambre v. Brookline Housing Authority (1st Cir., Nos. 15-1458, 15-1515, June 14, 2016). Kimberly DeCambre, a disabled,.. read more →

  The Law Office of Donald D. Vanarelli provides Special Needs Trusts and Disability Planning Attorney Services throughout the State of New Jersey. See: https://vanarellilaw.com/special-needs-disability-planning/ Elder Law topics covered in this video include Guardianships, Conservatorships, Power of Attorney, Representative Payeeships (SSA and SSI), Joint Tenancies (including joint bank accounts), Advance Medical Directives (living wills), Do.. read more →

The mission of the Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP) is to maintain a professional organization of attorneys skilled in the complex areas of public entitlements, estate, trust and tax planning, and the legal issues involving individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. The ASNP recently announced the addition of a new brochure titled “10 Costly Mistakes.. read more →