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Planning for the Difficult: Special Needs Trusts & Planning Options

Level: Beginner
Runtime: 92 minutes
Recorded Date: March 30, 2022
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• Introduction to Public Benefits
• Difficult Scenarios
        - Heading problems off before they happen
        - Putting the right team together
        - The hazards of flying without a plan
• Conclusion

Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Recorded: March 30, 2022

For NY - Difficulty Level: For newly-admitted attorneys (transitional)


Protecting your client's future, via 1st or 3rd party trusts, involves providing options for both the client and their loved ones. A special needs trust allows the client to plan carefully without jeopardizing the ability to receive Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid benefits. This webinar will cover the basics of advising your client on benefit eligibility, identifying the client's team of "allied professionals, allowable expenses, and creating the client's "network" of SNTs.

This program was recorded on March 30th, 2022.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Stephen W. Dale, Esq., LL.M

The Dale Law Firm

Stephen W. Dale received his JD from Armstrong Law School and his LL.M. in Taxation from Golden Gate University in 2001. The Dale Law Firm was established in 1992 in order to provide quality estate planning to clients by working cooperatively with the clients’ tax, financial and insurance professionals.

Mr. Dale is disability rights advocate whose interest in the disability community began at an early age. He comes from a family of institutional workers that served in California’s State Hospitals and Developmental Centers for over 3 generations. Stephen worked for 17 years as a psychiatric technician in a variety of institutions in California, and later became an intern at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) working on disability access cases before starting his own practice focused on drafting and administering special needs trusts.

He serves on the boards of the Arc of California and the Contra Costa County Developmental Disabilities Counsel. He spends much of his time attending disability rights activities, including legislative hearings and serving on boards and committees of disability-rights organizations.

He is also the trustee of the Golden State Pooled Trust which serves beneficiaries in California. Part of his duties is to oversee a series of MCLE programs accredited by the California State Bar, which provides education to attorneys and trustees on a wide variety of disability related subjects focused on quality of life for persons with disabilities.

He is a frequent speaker on a variety of disability related topics across the country. He speaks annually at the Stetson Law and the Center for Excellence Special Needs Conference, as well as The University of Texas annual Special Needs Conference.

He is the recipient of the 2010 Theresa Foundation Award and the 2007 NAELA Powley Award. Additionally, Mr. Dale is a long-standing member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national, not for profit organization of attorneys dedicated to the practice of disability and public benefits law.

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Shana Siegel

Norris McLaughline PA

Shana Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy.

As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), Shana has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.

Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Shana was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. She is a past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), where she regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, Shana was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

Additionally, Shana is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the New Jersey State Bar Elder & Disability Law Section, and the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.

Shana is active with the Long Term Living Association, several local chambers of commerce, and Jewish philanthropies. Shana loves to spend time outdoors hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and golfing.

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Kristen M. Lewis

Principal Attorney
The Bowden Law Firm, LLC

Kristen is nationally recognized for her proficiency in Special Needs Trust planning for persons challenged by disabilities, and is a frequent speaker and author on this topic. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), and an active member of the Special Needs Alliance, where she has recently served as Co-Editor of the organization’s monthly e-newsletter, The Voice. She is also a member of the American Bar Association, the New York Bar Association Elder Law Section, and the State Bar of Georgia Fiduciary Law Section. She is a former Co-Chair of the Long-Term Care, Medicaid and Special Needs Trusts Committee of the Elder Law, Disability Planning and Bioethics Group of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the ABA. She regularly lectures on the topics of Elder Financial Abuse and Special Needs Planning for Persons with Disabilities.

Kristen received her Bachelor of Arts degree in French and political science, with highest honors, from Wellesley College in 1981. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Cornell Law School in 1984. She is admitted to practice law in both New York and Georgia. Since 2012, Kristen has been selected for inclusion in Georgia Super Lawyers in Estate Planning and Probate. Additionally, since 2013, she has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America in Trusts and Estates.

Ms. Lewis currently serves on the Board of the Center for the Visually Impaired, and is a past Board Member of All About Developmental Disabilities (which has since merged with The Bobby Dodd Institute), as well as the former Board Chair of Georgia Community Supports & Solutions (formerly enAble and now known as InCommunity), all of which serve persons with disabilities and their families. She has recently joined the Board of Cumberland Academy of Georgia, a private school for children with autism. She is currently a Board Member of Eagle Ranch, a non-profit that works to unify families, and serves on the Board of Wesley Woods Senior Living, which provides affordable housing for seniors of limited means, and Better Living Together, Inc., which seeks to provide affordable housing for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and others of modest means. She is also a member of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Legacy Advisors Leadership Council. She is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Inc. and a former Trustee of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association. She is an active member of St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, and serves as an annulment Advocate with the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. She is also a member of the Serra Club of Atlanta, which supports seminarians and religious vocations. In her free time, she volunteers for Canine Assistants, which raises and trains certified service dogs for recipients with disabilities. Ms. Lewis is a faculty member for the annual American Bankers Association Advanced Trust School, addressing the complex topic of Special Needs Trust administration. She also regularly presents workshops on these topics to groups of parents and allied professionals.

Kristen is married to Randy Kennedy, a retired Army officer and network analyst with Sprint/T-Mobile. Her daughter, Savannah Lewis Grice, attends the University of Michigan Law School.

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Bradley J. Frigon

Law Office of Bradley J. Frigon

Bradley J. Frigon, Esq., LLM, CELA, has been practicing elder law for over 39 years, and has experience in all aspects of estate planning and special needs, estate and probate litigation, guardianship and conservatorship matters, Medicaid, probate administration and tax matters.

Mr. Frigon is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Wyoming and Kansas, is the Past-President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, an appointed member of the Special Needs Alliance, special counsel for the Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), and a member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).

In addition to his practice, Mr. Frigon is a nationally recognized speaker, author of numerous publications including co-author of Fundamentals of Special Needs Trusts, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, Kiplinger Retirement Report, and Bloomberg. He is recognized as a Colorado Super Lawyer and is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.

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