On December 16, 2014 Congress passed the ABLE Act of 2014 (Achieving a Better Life Experience); it was signed into law on December 19th. Under this Act qualified individuals who have disabilities can have a tax-free savings account that supports their health and independence while maintaining their means-tested public benefits. An ABLE account may be useful in addition to, and generally not in lieu of, other traditional special needs planning. Regulations have not yet been written Read More.
The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” became law on March 23, 2010. This change in the health care market is affecting some families and individuals under 65 years of age, some of whom have a disability. The goals of the ACA are to make health insurance more accessible, more affordable, and more comprehensive with the hope that doing so will bend the healthcare cost curve down and allow more people to obtain health insurance coverage. Read More.
Read about… Recent Developments in Lien Resolution Law
What is a Special Needs Attorney?
Visit Ruthann P. Lacey’s law firm in Tucker, GA, and you’ll find a waiting area stocked with family photographs that trace her ancestry to the Nebraska plains. Her grandfather’s old desk, from the farm on which she spent long hours as a child, anchors one wall. Read More.
As advances in medical technology are made available to the average American, and as public benefit eligibility law becomes more complicated, it should come as no surprise that legal planning tools are evolving to enable individuals with disabilities or older individuals to more easily become eligible for public benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits. Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) are among the most effective legal planning tools to fill this need. Read More.
The costs of long term health care can be staggering. For many people, being prepared to meet them can be an even greater challenge. Although some persons have amassed the necessary resources or insurance to meet the challenge, many others have few choices but to rely upon Medicare and Medicaid, the two government programs that have been established to provide assistance. Since neither of these programs provides exhaustive or universal coverage, it is important to fully understand which services are and are not, covered by these programs. Read More.
There can be great confusion with regard to the public benefits that may be available to an individual with disabilities. This is especially true with regard to monthly income benefits. Even individuals who are receiving monthly income through government assistance often do not know what benefit they are receiving and why they are receiving that particular benefit. Read More.
You’ve planned, budgeted, saved. You’re insured, and you may be debt free. But what would become of all this diligence if you suddenly became unable to continue to manage your affairs personally due to physical and/or mental infirmity? In an abundance of caution, these three documents should be cornerstones in every prudent adult’s legal and financial foundation… Read More.
Due to continued improvements in lifestyle and medical technology, it comes as no surprise that as the Baby Boomers are now turning 60, Americans are also living longer. When today’s 40-year-olds reach age 65 in 2034, over 17 percent of the nation’s population will be age 65 or over. As a result, at least two out of five Americans can expect to need some form of long term health care during their lifetimes. Read More.
A Durable Medical Power of Attorney (DMPOA) is a document under which you name one or more persons to help you make medical decisions while you are incapacitated. In it you — the “principal” — name someone you trust to act as your “agent” in making your medical and healthcare decisions in the event that you become unable to do so. You can and should, of course, still handle your own medical affairs as long as you choose to and are able to do so. Read More.
A Durable Financial Power of Attorney (DFPOA) is a document under which you name one or more persons to help you handle your financial affairs while you are alive but incapacitated. In it you — the “principal” — name someone whom you trust to act as your “agent” in making your financial and property decisions in the event that you become unable to do so. With this document you can still handle your own financial affairs as long as you choose to or are able to. Read More.
In accordance with Title XIX of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1396p, the State of Georgia has defined a process to recover the cost of medical assistance payments from the estates of deceased Members. The Official Code of Georgia gives the state the authority to recover these monies. O.C.G.A. § 49-4-147.1. In addition, the recovery methodology must adhere to statutory provisions of the Georgia Revised Probate Code of 1998, O.C.G.A. Title 53. Read More.
Probate is the process by which an individual’s Last Will and Testament is “proved” to be valid, the creditors are paid, and the assets are distributed to the heirs as designated in the Will. To be valid, the Will must be properly drafted and must have been voluntarily signed by a competent individual. The executor, who was appointed in the Will, collects the assets, sells property if necessary, pays the bills, and then distributes the remaining assets to the designated heirs. If the court requirements have been fulfilled and all of the estate business has been completed, an estate in Georgia can be closed six months after it was opened. Unlike probate in some states, the probate process in Georgia is not necessarily expensive, time consuming, or complicated. Read More.
You have been appointed Trustee of a Trust. A Trustee is the individual or corporation that is entrusted with the administration of property on behalf of others.The assets owned by the Trust will include those assets that the Grantor (the one who established the Trust) or others have transferred to the Trust. Read More.
The question is always asked: “Do I need to ask the court to make me the legal guardian for my adult child with a diability?” The answer is nearly always the same: “it depends.” Read More.
Probate is the process by which an individual’s Last Will and Testament is “proved” to be valid, the creditors are paid, and the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries as designated in the Will. Read More.
You’ve planned ahead and have decided how you want your affairs to be handled. You have signed a Last Will and Testament (Will), a Durable Financial Power of Attorney (DFPOA), a Durable Medical Power of Attorney (DMPOA), and a Living Will. Now what should you do with these documents? Read More.
It has become a common scenario. A child is born with a disability, or becomes disabled at a young age. This child lives at home with his parents throughout his adult life. He is likely eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, or Medicaid, though his parents may never have applied for benefits as they are proud people and don’t take “welfare.” Read More.