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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!

 

 

Awards & Achievements
Reviews & Ratings
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Making end of life plans is never easy, but Teresa Bowman and her staff were efficient and compassionate. I highly recommend them for eldercare planning.

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    Sondra Nagar

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I have been a client of Teresa Bowman for several years and feel so secure knowing I can rely on her and her associate, Rachel Schadt, to guide me through the many legal issues involved with estate planning and my care as I get older. I feel confide...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Her office was very competent in handling our problem with finding treatment for a 100 year old woman who needed financial and health care with living arrangements.

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    Client

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    I can't say enough good things about Teresa and her office. Mom had a tragic fall in Ohio and we had to air ambulance her to Florida. All of the Ohio documents had to be redone. From the initial meeting, she and her office were very thorough, orga...

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    jan reimer

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Our family experience with the Teresa Bowman practice has been exemplary! Professionalism and empathy beyond words. A personal and professional gift at this time in our world and our immediate family lives. Gratitude and confidence shall be ongoing!

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    Debra Ruppert

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News
  • "The National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) – the only organization approved by the American Bar Association to offer certification in the area of elder law, has announced that Teresa K. Bowman, Esq., of Sarasota has successfully completed its examination leading to such certification."

  • "I am pleased to announce that I have joined the firm of McLin Burnsed, based in Leesburg and in The Villages Community, as an attorney of counsel. McLin Burnsed has maintained a presence in the Leesburg and Villages area for over 45 years and are expanding their practice to include Elder Law."

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