Trying to negotiate the language of trusts in the legal world can be overwhelming for the majority of people. Recognizing the need for more education, Joan O'Keefe of SAIL (Southeast Alaska Independent Living) initiated the idea of pulling multiple agencies in Southeast Alaska together to co-sponsor a public event on trusts. The idea is simple: Bring in two experts on trusts and invite the public – with a special emphasis on seniors, people with disabilities and/or their advocates.
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The workshop Medicaid and Estate Planning Issues and Strategies Workshop is scheduled for Feb. 23 from 6 – 8 pm in the Egan Room of Centennial Hall in Juneau. The workshop is free and open to the public. Attendees do not need to be AARP members to attend, no RSVP required.
The workshop is presented by BethAnn Chapman, Attorney for Faulkner Banfield, PC and Vance Sanders, Attorney, Vance A. Sanders, LLC. Both attorneys practice in Juneau.
“Senior citizens, their family members, people with disabilities, and advocates don't understand how trusts work, so we need to receive the facts from these experienced attorneys,” explained Marianne Mills, Program Director for Southeast Senior Services, one of the event’s co-sponsors.
A special needs trust provides for the needs of a disabled person without disqualifying him or her from benefits received from government programs such as Social Security and Medicaid. A special needs trust makes it possible to maintain assets while retaining needed public assistance benefits. Special needs trusts may also help beneficiaries avoid losing access to essential government benefits.
The workshop is co-sponsored by SAIL, ADRC (Aging & Disability Resource Center), Southeast Senior Services and AARP Juneau Community Council. The program is also funded in part by a grant from the State of Alaska Division of Senior and Disability Services.