Posts

Showing posts from 2016

SNT Fairness Act Passed

Image
The SNT Fairness Act passed and was signed by the President on December 13, 2016 and became effective immediately.  So, an individual can now establish their own (d)(4)(A) trust (pursuant to section 1917(d)(4)(A) of the Social Security Act) in addition to the classic parties:  Parent, Grandparent, Legal Guardian and Court.
There is a newly published Emergency Message(EM) by Social Security with an indication they will be following up with more guidance.  Here is the EM:
Effective Dates: 12/13/2016 - Identification Number: EM-16053 Intended Audience: All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/PSCs/OCO/OCO-CSTs
/ODAR Originating Office: Title: Information Regarding a Change in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Special/Supplemental Needs Trust Policy– Permanent Instructions Will Follow Shortly Type: EM - Emergency Messages Program: Title XVI (SSI) Link To Reference: SI 01120.203
Retention Date:June 16, 2017

A.Purpose

This EM provides important information regarding a change in SSI trust policy as a result of the …

Special Needs Trust CLE - June 17, 2016

Image
Friday, June 17, 2016 I had the pleasure of attending the Florida Bar’s Annual Convention at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, FL. As part of the conference, the Elder Law Section’s Special Needs Trust committee put on their first ever, full day, Special Needs Trust (SNT) CLE program. The speakers included Travis Finchum (Special Needs Lawyers,PA and Guardian Trust), David Lillesand (Lillesand, Wolasky, Waks and Hitchcock, PL) and William “Will” Thompson (ABLE United, Inc.). 
Travis and David started the program with a brief overview and update on Medicaid and Social Security programs. In the next session, David presented a discussion titled “To SNT or Not to SNT” in which he gave us a great analysis of when to use a SNT (or avoid) and when First or Third party SNTs are appropriate. Right before lunch, Travis presented on what language must be in your SNT, what language may be in your SNT, and what language should not be in your SNT. After lunch, Will and David brought the house dow…

ABLE Accounts - What You Want to Know

Image
ABLE United is Florida's ABLE program and is scheduled to begin providing services in Florida on July 1, 2016. 
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allows individuals with disabilities and their family and friends to deposit funds into an ABLE account while maintaining government benefits.
ABLE accounts (not "Trusts") can be very helpful and a powerful tool for certain individuals with disabilities. Remember, to use an ABLE account the disability has to have occurred prior to age 26, so the eligible candidates will be limited. If a person can qualify, ABLE United states the account will be able to be opened online in about 15 minutes at their website: AbleUnited.com. Also remember contributions will initially be limited to a total of $14,000 per year.
I have been getting a lot of questions about how Special Needs Trust (SNT's) compare to ABLE accounts. Here are a few of the similarities:
-Both ABLE Accounts and SNT's can be exempted from eligibilit…

Proving a Person over Age 65 is Disabled to be able to use a Pooled Trust

Image
Why would you need to prove that a person who is 85 years old, under a plenary guardianship and in a nursing home, is “disabled?”  It happens.  Exceptions to general transfer rules apply to transfers to a blind or disabled child or to trusts established for these individuals.  Similarly some types of Special Needs Trusts (SNT) are only available for individuals who are disabled (d4A and d4C Trusts).  Lately we have been seeing DCF raise this issue, so be prepared.

You won’t have any luck going through Social Security because once the person reaches retirement age they either collect their retirement Social Security or once they turn 65 they are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if they haven’t worked (assuming they meet all of the other criteria) because they are officially “old.”

If the disabled person is under the age of 65 then Social Security can make the determination but otherwise you must go through the State of Florida to get a determination.

The Florida Medicaid Ma…