This past weekend, November 7 – 8, 2009, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) held a conference for members in Jersey City, New Jersey entitled “The Public Benefits and Guardianship Institute.” This was the first time that NAELA held one of its events in New Jersey. The conference consisted of a variety of programs in the areas of guardianship and public benefits law. The program brochure gives an overview of the schedule of programs available to attendees. The program brochure can be found here – NAELA November 2009 Conference

I was a speaker at the NAELA conference. I was on a panel with two other certified elder law attorneys, Donna R. Bashaw, Esq., and Marta J. Williger, Esq. The subject of our presentation was post-capacity and post-mortem public benefits planning. Specifically, I discussed two topics: first, I discussed the standards for post-incapacity Medicaid planning, or Medicaid planning that is presented to a Court for approval after the principal is declared incapacitated and a guardian is appointed. Second, I also discussed the post-mortem reformation of testamentary trusts into special needs trusts by executors, trustees or others on application to a Court so that the beneficiary of the trust maintains eligibility for Supplement Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and other public benefits.

Although our presentation (entitled “Public Benefits Planning Post-Guardianship”) was on Sunday morning at 8:00 AM, the presentation was surprisingly well attended. The paper I presented to the NAELA members at the conference is annexed hereto – Post-Incapacity Planning Through Guardianship