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Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern, LLP
Long Island's Elder Law, Special Needs & Estate Planning Firm

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

AARP Letter to the U.S. Senate

The following is a letter drafted by AARP in response to a report that the House approved the revision of asset transfer rules, making it much more difficult to obtain Medicaid. We urge you to copy this letter, sign and send it off in an attempt to ask the Senate to oppose this proposal.

December 19, 2005
The Honorable Bill Frist
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Majority Leader Frist:
AARP strongly opposes the budget reconciliation conference agreement
scheduled to come before the Senate for a vote today. Rather than reflecting the
rational provisions of the Senate reconciliation bill, the final conference
agreement is irresponsible policy.
The final conference agreement does not ask for shared sacrifice to achieve
budgetary savings. Rather it protects the pharmaceutical industry, the managed
care industry, and other providers at the expense of low-income Medicaid
beneficiaries and Medicare beneficiaries who will foot the bill.
AARP members and your other constituents will question why members of the
Senate would vote for a bill that would:
• Make it harder for Americans needing long-term care to qualify for
• Force some Americans to forfeit their homes in order to pay for long-term
care services;
• Require all Medicare Part B beneficiaries to pay higher premiums;
• Reopen the MMA, not to make improvements in the new drug benefit, but
to require those with more income to pay higher Part B premiums sooner;
• Force low-income Medicaid recipients to pay more for their care – and if
they cannot afford to do so – to potentially be denied care entirely.
The conference agreement systematically undermines the critical protections
built into both the Medicaid and Medicare programs. If the conference
agreement becomes law, then over the course of the next few weeks and months
we will make sure that our members across the country fully understand the
impact of this conference agreement on them and on their families.
Page 2
We urge the Senate to oppose the reconciliation conference package and urge
Congress to instead return to the fair and responsible policies of the original
Senate package.
William D. Novelli
Cc: All members of U.S. Senate

Spousal Medicaid Rules: The 2006 Community Spouse Resource Allowance has been raised to $99,540. More figures will be reported as they are released. a

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Trusts for Disabled Children: How to Choose which trust is right for your child's future

You already know you have to plan your estate carefully to provide the best quality of life for your child. But did you know there are several types of trusts to care for special needs children? The most common types are Support Trusts and Special Needs Trusts.

Support Trusts

A Support Trust mandates that the trustee make distributions for the child's support of such basics as food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and educational services. Beneficiaries of Support Trusts are ineligible to receive financial assistance through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid . Therefore, if your child will require SSI or Medicaid, you should avoid a Support Trust.

Special Needs Trusts

For many parents with a special needs child, the use of a Special Needs Trust is the most effective way to help the child. It manages resources while maintaining the child's eligibility for public assistance benefits. There are two types of Special Needs Trusts: Third-Party and Self-Settled.

Third-Party Special Needs Trust – Created using the parent's assets as part of an estate plan – distributed either by will or living trust.

Self-Settled Special Needs Trust – Generally created by a parent, grandparent or legal guardian using the child's assets to fund the trust – when the child receives a settlement from a personal injury lawsuit and will require lifelong care. If any assets remain in the trust after the beneficiary's death, a payback to the state is required.

Either type of Special Needs Trust helps provide a desirable quality of life for the disabled child while maintaining public assistance benefits.

Resource: www.specialneedsalliance.com

Lawrence Eric Davidow is a founding member and the Treasurer of this premier alliance of leading law firms throughout the country who are dedicated to the area of planning for those with Special Needs.