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THE PERILS OF SERVING AS TRUSTEE OF A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST

Two recent New York cases and an unofficial conversation with an unnamed official at the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare show trustees the importance of understanding their duties as trustees and putting the beneficiary first.  The cases are on opposite ends of the spectrum.  The first case[1] involved a Special Needs Trust with J.P. Morgan…

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PLANNING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Some 43 million Americans have one or more physical or mental disabilities.[1] This number is increasing as disabilities such as Autism and Alzheimer’s disease become more prevalent. Disabilities do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, or national origin. Some individuals with disabilities are wealthy, some are poor, many are middle class. An elder…

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ALWAYS USE A PROFESSIONAL TRUSTEE FOR A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST

[Updated January 22, 2016] Choosing a Trustee Choosing a trustee of a special needs trust is a crucial decision to be made by the grantor of the trust. The range of options includes: Parent, sibling (or other individual) Financial institution Nonprofit organization Each of these possibilities has potential advantages and disadvantages. The appointment of a…

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WHAT IS A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST? WHEN IS IT NEEDED IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE AND HOW DOES IT OPERATE?

Frequently, in the settlement of a personal injury case the plaintiff is receiving a large settlement.  Often, the same plaintiff has significant financial and medical needs that can be met through public benefits.  The purpose of a Special Needs Trust is to enable the disabled beneficiary to enjoy the proceeds of the personal injury settlement…

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