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For many parents, the majority of their savings is held in some kind of a retirement account, often an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). At age 70 1/2, an IRA account holder faces the Required Beginning Date, when he or she must take mandatory distributions from the IRA. These payments are determined by the government and are known as Required Minimum Distributions. If the parents have a child with special needs, it is often important for
Estate Planning, special needs planning, Special Needs Trust, Trust
Social Security payments are set to grow next year, although for some recipients the extra payments will be slightly offset by an increase in Medicare premiums and deductibles. Announced by the Social Security Administration (SSA) on October 11, 2018, and effective December 31, Social Security payments for 2019 will rise 2.8 percent, an increase from a 2 percent rise in 2018 and the largest gain since benefits rose 3.6 percent in 2012. This means that the more than
Elder Law, Medicaid, Medicare, SSA, SSI
ABLE accounts, new tax-free saving accounts for people with disabilities, hold great promise for special needs planning. But among the many questions surrounding ABLE plans is who can open accounts?  Only the person with a disability? Parents?  Other relatives? Friends? Created by Congress via the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014 and modeled after popular 529 college savings accounts, ABLE accounts allow people with disabilities to save for disability-related expenses while
ABLE Accounts, Medicaid, special needs planning, SSA, SSI
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines that a person with disabilities is eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the decision is not necessarily permanent. Depending on the circumstance, the SSA will either regularly or semi-regularly re-examine the person’s eligibility. This reexamination is known as a “redetermination.” According to a new audit, however, the SSA is not conducting redeterminations at the frequency required by federal regulations, resulting in the agency potentially overpaying hundreds of
special needs planning, SSA, SSI
According to court documents, legendary singer Aretha Franklin did not have a will when she died, despite reportedly having a son with special needs. The lack of a will opens up the intensely private singer’s estate to public scrutiny and unnecessary costs, and means that there are no specific provisions to protect her son. Franklin, who died in Michigan at age 76, left behind four sons, but no guidance on how to distribute her estimated
Elder Law, Estate Planning, special needs planning

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