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Special Needs Law Month

October is Special Needs Law month.

Special needs law is a complex area of the law and requires legal advice from an experienced practitioner. If you have a child, or adult family member with special needs, knowing what benefits and services are available to them, and how to protect those benefits as they age, is important. Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), Medicaid, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Medicare are all programs available to a disabled person, dependent upon work history.  A person with special needs who is deemed disabled may have a combination of benefits, and its important that the special needs client and their family understands the rules to avoid lost of benefits, or a reduction in benefits.

As a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, I work to stay current on all the changes that would affect my special needs clients.  Some of the situations that might arise that would require the assistance of a special needs planner attorney might be:

  1. A disabled special needs child turning 18. When the child legally becomes an adult in the eyes of the law, parents need to review the options available to them for remaining involved in their child’s health care, and financial decision making.
  2. A disabled special needs person receives an inheritance, or a personal injury settlement. I can review the options they have to preserve those funds for later use, and keep their benefits.
  3. A family member wants to leave an inheritance to a disabled special needs relative. I can help them put together an estate plan to establish a special needs trust that  can be used to provide an enhanced quality of life, while maintaining benefits that cover food shelter and medical care.
  4. A change in circumstance that might affect benefits.  A change in the living situation, decision to try working, purchase of a home, becoming a beneficiary of a special needs trust- all things that must be reported to Social Security. I can help with the reporting to make sure there the proper documentation provided.
  5. Finding out your are now a trustee of a special needs trust. As a trustee, you should get the counsel of a special needs attorney to find out your obligations to the beneficiary, how you can use the trust to improve quality of life, and most of all what you shouldn’t do that can adversely affect any benefits the beneficiary currently receives. Again, the rules are complicated and confusing so seek legal advice before you begin making distributions!

 

 

Client Testimonials
  • "In October 2009, my fiancé (and future wife) and I wanted to have estate documents prepared. Upon the recommendation of friends, we contacted an elder law firm in Sarasota, FL. We were assigned to Teresa K. Bowman, an estate planning and elder law attorney. Over the course of several months, she helped us to develop and refine our documents to our exact specifications and requirements, with our complete satisfaction. During the next few years, various modifications to our documents were required, and she helped us to implement these changes, always with absolute professionalism and precision, and with a warm, friendly manner. Incidentally, Teresa Bowman, serving in the role of Justice of the Peace, presided over our wedding ceremony in May, 2010. It was the first wedding ceremony she had ever performed, so we trust that it is just as memorable an event for her as it was for us. In 2014, when Teresa Bowman established her own Estate Planning and Elder Law practice, we, of course, transferred our accounts to her new firm. She has since implemented additional modifications to our estate documents, with the same high level of service that we have come to expect and appreciate. We would have absolutely no reservations in recommending Teresa Bowman and her firm to anyone who has need of the services she renders." - Robert G. and Judith L. Hores

Awards & Achievements
Reviews & Ratings
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Teresa is easy to talk to and is understanding of the situation brought to her. I would highly recommend her for your legal representative.

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    Theresa Wheeler

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    5.0/5.0

    Teresa and Paula have been helping us with setting up a POA and all of our mother’s paperwork and will be filing for Medicaid for her for us. They really are very helpful and explain things in laymen’s terms.

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    Beth Williams

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Great team to work with. Questions answered in layman's terms!

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    Rita Zuchelli

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Teresa Bowman and her entire team were very easy and pleasurable to work with. Every question was answered in an non-condescending manner and discussed thoroughly in layman's terms.

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Teresa K. Bowman, P.A. is both professional and personable. Her expertise and experience are invaluable. Her ability to understand my needs and her patience in communicating made working with her very worthwhile.

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    Client

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