Planning for Your Special Needs Loved One 

Thursday,   May 10, 20126:30   – 8 pmNewtown   Library201   Bishop Hollow Road, Newtown SquarePresented   by:Dennis   C. McAndrews, Esq.McAndrews   Law Offices Pat   Bergmaier, CFP, LUTC MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning Ginny Koehler PLAN (Planned Lifetime Assistance Network) of PA

RSVP  to Roe DeLuca by Monday, May 7 at 610-687-4249 or –  View the Flyer here


Estate Planning For Families in 2012 – Pitfalls of Gridlock in Washington

By: Dennis C.   McAndrews, Esquire

If Congress and the   President do not reach an agreement in 2012 to extend or modify the existing   Federal Estate Tax Threshold of 5 million dollars per person and 10 million   dollars per couple, the threshold will reduce to 1 million dollars per person   on January 1, 2013. In light of recent Washington gridlock and the fact that  most life insurance and retirement plans are included in the Federal Estate   Tax calculations, 2012 is a critical year to review your Estate Plan and to adopt relatively easy strategies to address the potential serious consequences of this situation. A list of the critical documents   to review and consider is set forth below. Will–   The document which directs the disposition of property not held in joint   names or which pass by a beneficiary designation.  The   Will identifies the individuals charged with administering your estate,   provides a financial structure and guardianship for minor children, and seeks   to avoid unnecessary federal and state death taxes. Trusts –   The mechanism by which property is held for the benefit of designated   individuals.  Several types of Trusts may be used in typical estate   plans.

1.  Credit Shelter   Trust – used to allow spouses to utilize their   individual federal estate tax exemptions by placing assets into individual   names rather than in joint names; the surviving spouse is generally the   beneficiary of the Trust during lifetime, with any residue typically flowing   to children or other designated beneficiaries. Under the current tax law, the   use of a Credit Shelter Trust is disfavored in some situations, and the   Disclaimer Trust is a frequent alternative.

2.  Disclaimer Trust –   permits post-death tax planning by use of a qualified disclaimer of property   of the decedent, typically by the surviving spouse, to utilize the deceased   spouse’s federal tax exemption; in other respects, the Disclaimer Trust   operates largely like a Credit Shelter Trust, and due to the uncertainty of   post-2012 taxation, the Disclaimer Trust is often the Trust of choice in   current estate planning.

3.  Irrevocable Life   Insurance Trust – proper use of an ILIT removes life   insurance from the estate of the deceased policy holder.

4.  Special Needs Trust   – allows an individual with disabilities to benefit from the resources of a Trust   while continuing to receive essential public benefits, most notably Medical   Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, and Mental Health/Intellectual   Disability benefits.

5.  Minor’s Trust   – provides a mechanism to maintain resources by a Trustee on behalf of minor   children until they reach an age, designated by the testator, at which full   access to the funds will be provided. Power   of Attorney – provides financial and medical   authority to one or more designated individuals to act on one’s behalf,   especially at times of incapacity. Advance   Medical Directive – provides instruction to   a hospital regarding the use of designated medical procedures in   circumstances where you become permanently unconscious or terminally ill   without reasonable hope of meaningful recovery.

If you would like our office to review or develop your estate plan, please call us at (610) 648-9300.  To receive an electronic copy or more information regarding   this article, please call us or visit our website at     


Estate Planning for a   Disabled Child: Coordinating Your Estate Plan with a Special Needs Trust

By: Lesley M.   Mehalick, J.D., LL.M.

Special needs trusts provide an   invaluable option for parents who wish to leave an inheritance, whether large   or small, to their disabled child while still preserving that child’s   necessary public benefits. Families with special needs children face unique   and difficult issues when considering how best to plan for their child’s   future. When parents leave an inheritance outright to a special needs child,   either by will or otherwise, they may unintentionally disqualify their child   for crucial public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a   benefit that provides income to persons on the basis of disability and need,   and Medical Assistance, which provides health insurance for low-income   individuals. Both SSI and Medical Assistance are resource dependent, which   means that a recipient of these benefits can have only extremely limited   amounts of personal assets and income. READ MORE