SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS: THE WHAT, WHEN, AND HOW

We are excited to share the information below on Special Needs Planning, which was written courtesy of our guest blogger Paul who is serving as a summer law clerk at our office. What is a Special Needs Trust? My older brother is autistic and will be dependent upon my parents for the remainder of their [...]

NEW MICHIGAN LAW OFFERS ADDITIONAL SAFETY NET FOR SPECIAL-NEEDS PARENTS/GUARDIANS

A child with special needs is shopping with their parents at a local grocery store. When his parents run into friends and stop to chat, a flashy display catches his eye and he discreetly wanders toward it to get a closer look. After satisfying his curiosity, the boy turns to go back to his parents [...]

WORLD AUTISM MONTH: WHAT YOU WANT TO KNOW

Throughout April, the world has been lighting up blue in recognition of World Autism Month. Universally-recognized landmarks across the globe, such as The White House, the Empire State Building, and Niagara Falls, have lit up blue in support of Autism awareness and the Light It Up Blue campaign. As the fastest-growing developmental disorder in America [...]

SSI and SSDI

SSI and SSDI: Confusing Initials I agree.  It really is confusing.  Why the government used the initials SSI and SSDI as shorthand for two of the most important government benefits is bewildering. With 26 letters in our alphabet, there were many opportunities to avoid this confusion. SSI and SSDI are two government benefits with similar [...]

SPECIAL NEEDS

When a person with special needs receives a personal injury award, it is important to consider whether the creation of a Supplement (Special) Needs Trust will benefit the individual. Consider the case of John, a 53-year-old who was seriously injured in a car accident leaving him permanently disabled.  After filing a lawsuit, John obtained a $900,000 settlement. [...]

PERMISSIBLE DISTRIBUTIONS

A Supplemental Needs Trust (frequently called a Special Needs Trust or simply an "SNT") is an important estate planning tool.  The purpose of a Supplemental Needs Trust is to safeguard certain assets (generally a settlement or an inheritance) without disqualifying the individual from eligibility for public benefits.  Understanding what are permissible distributions is critical to the [...]

GUARDIANSHIP

A 60 year old mother developed early onset dementia.  For 10 years, the mother lived with her boyfriend who was not providing her with appropriate care, medication, and shelter.  The children retained The Probate Pro to represent them to petition for guardianship and conservatorship.  Most importantly, they wanted to ensure that their mother was removed from [...]

SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST

Some families must assume special responsibilities in order to care for a loved one who will require help through adulthood due to physical or mental challenges. To help these families, The Probate Pro offers Special Needs Trust Planning.  This planning uses state and federal Trust Laws to protect the assets of a person with disabilities. Such [...]

GUARDIAN AD LITEM

In a probate proceeding, the court often appoints a guardian ad litem.  The appointment of a guardian ad litem, commonly referred to as a GAL, should not be confused with the appointment of a guardian. Let's face it.  It can be awfully confusing to people that are inexperienced with probate and trust proceedings. A guardian [...]