Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New Season, New Elder Law Programs!

By Elizabeth Allen and Debra Dandar

Spring is just around the corner! As we switch gears to a new season, we would like to take this opportunity to share what occurred during our first meetings of 2015 and to update you on the lineup of speakers for the rest of the 2014-2015 year.

Our first speaker of 2015 was scheduled to be Dale Krause of Krause Financial Services; however, due to bad weather and flight delays, Dale was unable to attend the meeting. Instead, the meeting went forward as an open forum, which was well attended and very well received.  Topics discussed included gifting-exempt assets, a complex SSI case study, and use of contingent SNTS in wills. Since this format worked so well, we may wish to consider scheduling at least one open forum meeting each year so that we can discuss complex issues that each of us is facing.

On February 5, Travis Finchum, a co-trustee of Guardian Pooled Trust, instructed us on SSI rules and lesser-known Medicaid programs such as QMB, SLMB, QI1, and Medically Needy. Travis also answered questions regarding special-needs trusts.

On March 13, April Hill and Javier Centonzio gave us an insider’s overview of the VA health care system, as well as VA Pension and Aid & Attendance, service-connected compensation, and other VA benefits. April (Hill Law Group) is a frequent lecturer on these topics, and Javier (also of Hill Law Group) is a former clerk for the Federal Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims.

On April 23, Tae Kelley Bronner, a renowned expert on the subject of homestead, will be the speaker for a joint luncheon between our section and the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section. Tae will provide us with a review of the relevant law regarding the constitutional homestead exemption from claims of creditors and the impact of trusts on the availability of that exemption.

Dale Krause has been rescheduled and will appear at our final meeting of the year on May 29 to provide us with an overview of Medicaid and VA compliant annuities, options available to deal with noncompliant annuities, and the use of annuities in personal service contracts.

Each luncheon qualifies for one hour of CLE credit and provides the opportunity to visit and network with elder law attorneys and other professionals. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m., with luncheons at noon. All luncheons are held in the Chester H. Ferguson Law Center.

So please join us at our meetings, and as always, if you have suggestions or ideas or would like to submit an article for publication in the Lawyer magazine, please contact Elizabeth P. Allen — eallen@gibblaw.com or (813) 877-9222 — or Debra L. Dandar — Debra.Dandar@TampaBayElderLawCenter.com  or (813) 282-3390.

We look forward to seeing you soon and hope that you enjoy our final speakers for the 2014-2015 year.