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October 2016
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National Special Needs Law Month
House Overwhelmingly Passes SNT Fairness Act
Other Days to Recognize This Month
Upcoming Events

Monday, Oct. 17th Nock Middle School
6:00 PM
Protecting Your Assets in Light of Nursing Home Care 

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) has designated October as "National Special Needs Law Month."

Special Needs Law attorneys throughout the country contribute a great deal to their communities by educating those with special needs, their families, and caregivers about their legal needs. By participating in Special Needs Law Month, you can help spread the mission of NAELA - to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of those with disabilities.

For more information, ways to get involved or the Special Needs Law Month Toolkit visit the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys website.
House Overwhelmingly Passes SNT Fairness Act

The House of Representatives passed by a vote of 382 to 22 the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, a bill that would allow people with disabilities to create their own first-party special needs trusts without having to rely on others.  

The Fairness Act corrects a decades-old error in federal law that presumes that all persons with disabilities lack the mental capacity to handle their own affairs.  Under current law, if a person with special needs wants to place her own property or money into a special needs trust in order to preserve it and maintain access to government benefits, she must have a parent, grandparent, guardian or court create the trust for her; she can't create the trust on her own.  This process makes it unnecessarily difficult for people with few close relatives or limited access to the courts to preserve their assets.

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act would allow a person with special needs to create a special needs trust on her own, without having to rely on family members.
Other Days to Recognize This Month...
October 1st - Residents' Rights Month was designated by the Consumer Voice to honor residents living in all long-term care facilities to raise awareness of dignity, respect and the value of each individual resident. The theme for Residents' Rights Month 2016 is, "My Vote Matters" with the goal of highlighting residents' right to vote and participate in the political process. 

October 1st - In 1990, the UN determined the day as
International Day of Older Persons to recognize the vital contributions of older people to the global community. This year, the theme is, " take a stand against ageism" in order to draw attention to and challenge negative stereotypes and misconceptions about older persons and aging. 

October 2nd to the 8th - Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. During Mental Illness Awareness Week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) raises awareness of mental illness to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care.  Join NAMI in shining a light on mental illness and replacing stigma with hope by taking the #StigmaFree pledge at 

October 6th - National Depression Screening Day is an education and screening event conducted by hospitals, clinics, colleges, and community groups nationwide.The program provides free, anonymous screenings for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder, as well as referral to treatment resources if warranted. Screenings are held both online and in-person and thousands of people participate each year. http://helpyourselfhelpothers.org/
At Elder Law Solutions we concentrate our practice in estate, long-term care and special needs planning. We are located on the North Shore and have a strong commitment to client service.  If you have questions about these or other legal matters, do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail by clicking here or by calling us at (978) 465- 5407.

Elder Law Solutions
Margot G. Birke, Esq.                                        www.elderlaw-solutions.com
One Harris Street                                              info@elderlaw-solutions.com
Newburyport, MA 01950
(978) 465- 5407