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News and Blog

Dec
12
2013

Special Needs Planning and Retirement Benefits

Retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs make up the majority of most people`s savings. While these plans encourage saving by offering significant tax rewards, they were certainly not set up to help families with special needs, who are typically trying to provide a protected source of liquid funds for a child long into the future.

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Dec
12
2013

Think Carefully Before Giving Gift Cards to an SSI Recipient

The holidays are here and most families are busy shopping for gifts for their loved ones. According to the National Retail Federation, gift cards are once again expected to be the most popular gift given because they are easy to buy and they take the guesswork out of shopping.

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Dec
09
2013

Health Care Reform Offers Something Old and Something New

Although it took more than a year of back and forth, a comprehensive health care reform bill and an associated reconciliation bill finally passed both houses of Congress and were signed into law by President Obama. People from both sides of the aisle have complaints about various portions of the legislation, but it is clear that the new law will have far-reaching consequences for people with special needs. Since the size of the law is staggering, we have highlighted some of the most important features of health care reform as it pertains to people with special needs.

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Dec
02
2013

Special Needs Trustee Must Repay Trust for Failing to Seek Public Benefits

 In a recent New York case, an institutional trustee has been ordered to pay back a special needs trust almost $180,000 for its failure to make certain that the beneficiary qualified for available public benefits.

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Nov
26
2013

Digital Assets Raise Estate Planning Questions

More and more, we are conducting our business on the Internet, whether that`s online banking, shopping at Amazon and oth...

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Nov
20
2013

Staying Eligible for Medicaid after the Death of a Spouse

When one member of a couple moves to a nursing home, we expect that spouse will be the first to die, but this isn’t always the case. What happens if a Medicaid recipient`s spouse dies first? If planning steps aren`t taken, the death of a spouse can affect the nursing home resident`s assets and eligibility for Medicaid.

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Nov
19
2013

Melanie Marmion and Mass Mutual`s Special Care Team Presentation

Melanie Marmion will be presenting with Mass Mutual`s Special Care Team at an event sponsored by the Autism Society of Oregon on December 4th, 2013 at the downtown Portland public library. 

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Nov
15
2013

Supreme Courts Gay Marriage Ruling Clarifies Some Questions for People with Disabilities

The U.S. Supreme Court recently released opinions in two cases dealing with gay marriage, and by striking down a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the court has made it easier for same-sex married couples to access certain types of disability benefits. However, the ruling is not all good news for same-sex couples, because in certain cases being married could harm an applicants ability to qualify for needs-based services.

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Nov
15
2013

Guardianship Case Illustrates the Need for Careful Trustee Selection and Oversight

Before she passed away, Marie Holman created a special needs trust to take care of her son Mark, who has autism. When she established the trust, Ms. Holman picked an attorney and a bank to serve as trustees, thinking that they would be best able to manage the multi-million dollar trust fund. But in the years following Ms. Holman`s death, the trustees never visited Mark at his residential school and only spent the trust`s money on their fees; not one cent was used for Mark`s care.

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Nov
15
2013

The Promises and Pitfalls of Home Ownership for People With Special Needs

eople with special needs often require housing that accommodates their lifestyle. In many cases, group living facilities are called for, with the group environment providing stability and support. But in other cases, a person with special needs needs a very specific type of housing, designed particularly for her. Or, it may simply make sense for a person with special needs to have a place of her own. The rental market is clearly not equipped to provide the specific accommodations many individuals with special needs require. Fortunately, there are many ways to provide private housing for a person with special needs without compromising the majority of her means-based government benefits.

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DISCLAIMER:The information contained in this website is based on Oregon law and is subject to change. It should be used for general purposes only and should not be construed as specific legal advice by Fitzwater Meyer Hollis & Marmion, LLP or its attorneys. Neither this website nor use of its information creates an attorney-client relationship. If you have specific legal questions, consult with your own attorney or call us for an appointment.