September 2019
Can I Leave My Estate to an ABLE Account Instead of a Special Needs Trust?
By Lesley Mehalick, JD, LLM
Supervising Partner of the Estates & Trusts Department
 The new ABLE accounts offer an additional way for a person with special needs to accumulate savings while still retaining eligibility for his public benefits, including Medical Assistance (Medicaid) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This has been a very exciting piece of legislation, which significantly impacts the planning for persons with special needs as previously a Special Needs Trust was the primary vehicle that could hold any significant monies without affecting a person’s public benefits. With the advent of the ABLE accounts, many people are asking if they can name their child’s ABLE account in their Will instead of a Special Needs Trust. While the ABLE accounts offer additional savings opportunities, in almost every case, the ABLE account is not a substitute for an estate plan with a Third-Party Funded Special Needs Trust. 

Changes to Pennsylvania’s Anatomical Gift Act
By Jennifer L. Simons, Esq.
Estates and Trusts Department
Most people are aware that an individual may choose to donate his/her organs (such as a heart, liver, or lungs) upon their death, and many choose to do so, typically by indicating this preference on a driver’s license or identification card. On October 23, 2018 Pennsylvania made a change to its Anatomical Gift Statute, which lays out the rules, process and procedure for making an “anatomical gift”. An anatomical gift is defined as “a donation of all or part of a human body to take effect after the donor's death for the purpose of transplantation, therapy, research or education”. 20 Pa.C.S. §8601. However, the statute was recently updated to add a new section allowing for an individual to make a gift of vascularized composite allografts (“VCA”), which include human hands, facial tissue or limb.

Upcoming Estate Planning Events

Special Needs Trusts Information Session
WHEN : Tuesday, September 17 th , 2019
LOCATION : DCIU Morton, 200 Yale Avenue, Room #171, Morton, PA 19070
TIME : 6:30PM - 8:30PM
MORE : Join  Jennifer Simons, Esq.  of McAndrews, Mehalick, Connolly, Hulse, Ryan and Marone P.C., and the  Delaware County Advocacy and Resource Organization  for a FREE presentation on Special Needs Trusts! Come and learn more about this sophisticated tool for protecting access to public benefits for persons with disabilities while providing them with the financial resources to improve their quality of life. This presentation is free but registration is requested.

Brighter Journeys Second Annual Pennsylvania Special Needs Expo
WHEN : Tuesday, September 24th, 2019
LOCATION : Mohegan Sun Pocono-Keystone Grand Ballroom, 1280 Highway 315, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
TIME : The full EXPO goes from 11:00am – 6:00pm
1:00pm – 1:30pm: Heather Hulse, J.D.,M.S.,M.A “Special Education-What Parents Absolutely Need to Know”   
1:30pm – 2:00pm: Lesley Mehalick, JD, LLM,  “Special Needs Trusts, Guardianship vs. Power of Attorney and the ABLE Act”

Our Firm in the News!
Caitlin McAndrews, Esq. of McAndrews, Mehalick, Connolly, Hulse, Ryan and Marone P.C. is featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer​ this week! Don't miss Erin Arvedlund's article on the importance of a proper estate plan.

The Legal Intelligencer featured McAndrews, Mehalick, Connolly, Hulse, Ryan and Marone P.C. in People in the News !

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We are a nationally recognized firm that provides families of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Area, and New Jersey with exceptional legal representation in Special Education, Estate Planning, Abuse of Vulnerable Citizens, and the representation of individuals involved in higher education allegations of misconduct.
Main Office: 30 Cassatt Avenue, Berwyn, PA 19312