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Lawyer’s Move From Representing Widow to Estate is Problematic

OCTOBER 31, 2011 VOLUME 18 NUMBER 37 Floyd Spence, a Republican Congressman from South Carolina, was a long-time survivor of a heart-lung transplant and a (separate) kidney transplant when he died in 2001, at the age of 73. He was survived by his second wife, Deborah Spence, and four adult sons from his first marriage …

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Excessive Fee in Special Needs Trust Leads to Lawyer’s Suspension

OCTOBER 17, 2011 VOLUME 18 NUMBER 36 Lawyers are ethically prohibited from charging excessive fees. Period. It doesn’t matter if the lawyer has a fee agreement calling for an excessive fee. It doesn’t matter if the negotiated fee seemed reasonable at the time, but turned out to be excessive as things developed. It doesn’t matter …

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Principles of 3rd-party SNTs

Principles Governing Third-Party Special Needs Trusts

OCTOBER 3, 2011 VOLUME 18 NUMBER 35 Last week we tried to demystify some of the principles of self-settled special needs trusts, and to distinguish them from third-party trusts. This week we continue that education effort, focusing on the rules governing third-party trusts. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of special needs trusts. Those set …

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First-party special needs trust

Principles of Self-Settled (“First Party”) Special Needs Trusts

SEPTEMBER 26, 2011 VOLUME 18 NUMBER 34 There is so much confusion about the difference between “self-settled” and “third-party” special needs trusts, that we want to try to explain and simplify some of the key concepts. Here are some of the most common questions (and misunderstandings): What is the difference between “self-settled” and “third-party” special …

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Remainder Beneficiaries Not Entitled to Trust Beneficiary’s Financial Info

SEPTEMBER 12, 2011 VOLUME 18 NUMBER 32 Imagine with us for a moment: you are the trustee of an irrevocable trust created by a now-deceased woman for the benefit of her daughter. The trust says that her daughter is to receive all the income generated by the trust. You are also given the discretion to …

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In-Home Caretaker Wages Deductible Based on Doctor’s Letter

SEPTEMBER 5, 2011 VOLUME 18 NUMBER 31 Queens (New York) resident Lillian Baral was in her early 90s. She lived at home, but she required full-time assistance with her care. In 2007 she paid two caretakers a total of $49,580 for live-in care (one lived with her for five weeks while the primary caretaker took …

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