A trust sought direction concerning whether it was required to pay for private school tuition. A grandfather established a trust for the support, maintenance and education of his minor grandchildren. Later, when his son divorced, the son asked the trust to pay his children’s tuition. The former wife responded on behalf of the children, contending […]

In Great-West Life & Annuity Ins. Co. v. Knudson, 534 U.S. 204 (2002), an ERISA plan bought an action to recover funds paid to settle an MVA involving Janette Knudson. The plan spent $411,157.11 on Janette’s medical expenses; all but $75,000 was paid by Great-West under a stop loss agreement. The plan included a reimbursement […]

In Sereboff v. Mid-Atlantic Medical Services, Inc., 547 U.S. 356 (2006), an ERISA Plan sued the plan beneficiaries when funds were distributed to the Sereboffs without first satisfying an ERISA lien. The ERISA plan sued for injunctive relief, requesting a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction requiring the couple to retain and set aside at […]

This case presents the question whether a trust created with reference to the Federal Medicaid statutes — the Valerie R. Pecce Supplemental Needs Trust (2001 trust) — should be reformed due to mistake. According to the petitioner, Gino DiGiacomo, the 2001 trust incorrectly and unnecessarily provides that trust assets must first be used to reimburse […]

Sonya Lotzer and Bobbi Lerud were in separate collisions. After settling their negligence claims, they funded special needs trusts without first paying Medicaid liens asserted by the State of Minnesota. Norwest Bank filed a declaratory judgment action alleging that Medicaid’s right to recover is deferred until the beneficiary’s death where a third party recovery is […]

A tort plaintiff sought to fund his special needs trust without first repaying the Medicaid lien. Citing Norwest, the Court concluded that 1396p(d)(4) does not alter Medicaid’s right to recover on its lien prior to funding a special needs trust. The recipient’s rights against the third-party tortfeasor were assigned when he applied for and received […]

A 51 year old nursing home resident assigned her Social Security Disability check to a special needs trust. She then argued that the SSD payment was not subject to Medicaid’s co-pay requirement. The Department rejected her argument, requiring that she pay her SSD (less her personal needs allowance) toward the cost of nursing home care. […]

n 2003, Frankie Walker created an irrevocable trust. After her death, her husband, Van Anda, sought to set aside the trust and transfers into the trust, arguing they were the product of undue influence. The trust, as drafted had the effect of leaving virtually all of Frankie’s estate to her sister, Mollie Lewis. Frankie, then […]

The Special Needs Alliance (SNA) is a national organization comprised of attorneys committed to the practice of disability and public benefits law. Individuals with disabilities, their families, and their advisors rely on the SNA to connect them with nearby attorneys who focus their practices in the disability law arena. The SNA is an invitation-only organization. […]

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