March 01, 2010

Top 15 Tips for Estate Planners When Planning for Special Needs (2010, 24:02)

Tips for Estate Planners When Planning for Special Need

Probate & Property Magazine: March/April 2010, Volume 24, Number 2

By Katherine N. Barr, Richard E. Davis, and Kristen M. Lewis
Katherine N. Barr practices at Sirote & Permutt, P.C., in Birmingham, Alabama, and is the supervisory council member of the Elder Law, Disability Planning and Bioethics Group. Richard E. Davis practices with the firm of Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty, L.P.A., in Canton, Ohio, and is group vice-chair of the Elder Law, Disability Planning and Bioethics Group. Kristen M. Lewis is in practice at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, in Atlanta, Georgia, and is co-chair of the Long Term Care, Medicaid, and Special Needs Trusts Committee. This article results from a program presented by the authors at the Section’s 2009 Spring Sym-posia in Washington, D.C.

The world of special needs planning has come of age. Once considered a narrow specialty that rarely demanded much of a traditional estate planner's time, understanding how to protect the eligibility of a client's child with a disability for publicly available programs, including health care, is now essential. A topic once reserved for continuing legal education programs involving Medicaid planning for the elderly, the hottest topic today at many estate planning CLEs concerns special needs trusts (SNTs) and special needs planning.

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