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Do You Have Special Needs Trust Tunnel Vision?

  The use of a special needs trust (SNT) as a planning tool to preserve settlement proceeds and maintain government benefits eligibility should not be presumed appropriate for every client. For many years there have been articles and advertising focusing on the benefits of special needs trusts.  Special Needs Trusts are, in fact, a gift given to us…

Have You Checked Your Beneficiary Designations Since Your Divorce?

Effective July 1, 2012, a new Florida law takes affect concerning beneficiary designations on employee benefit plans.  Under current law, when a divorced individual dies if their Last Will & Testament designates their former spouse as a beneficiary that provision is void. Even if a divorced individual dies without changing their Will the former spouse is treated as…

How Traumatically Brain Injured Clients Could Have Avoided Guardianship

Hindsight is twenty-twenty and it is always easier to assess what should have been done after the fact. Consider some very simple yet powerful planning tips for your and your friends’ young adult children. Tale: A.B. was nineteen (19) years old when he was hit by a police vehicle during a police chase.  A.B. suffered traumatic…

The Ten Commandments of Resolving a Catastrophic Injury Case

1. Thou shalt recommend to your client to consult with a board certified elder law attorney before mediation. 2. Thou shalt take steps to preserve the client’s government benefits with a special needs trust. 3. Thou shalt  have a guardian appointed timely. 4.  Thou shalt notify the Medicaid collection agency of the settlement and satisfy the casualty lien. 5.  Thou shalt recommend a combination of cash and a…

Beware The Pitfalls of Over-Structuring a Settlement

Plaintiff’s receiving a settlement want to have it safely and conservatively invested.  As attorneys, we share their concern about dissipation of the settlement perhaps for different reasons.   To safeguard the client (sometimes from their own fiscal irresponsibility) structured settlements are an option.  The use of a structured settlement can be a double-edge sword as explained below.…

Law Office of Stephanie L. Schneider, P.A.