Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law

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Business agreement handshake on white background. Black Hopefully, you have taken the time to meet with a Special Needs Planning attorney who may have helped you set up a Special Needs Trust for your child. The trust may have been funded with money you have saved, contributions from other family members or with a life insurance policy.  You were also likely told at the time that if your son or daughter had more than $2,000,…
Planning for a child who has a disability  is an extremely important and time-sensitive task. Your child is counting on you to create a plan that not only protects him or her now and after you are gone, but also encourages your child to reach his or her full potential. This is where a Special Needs Planning Attorney in Virginia comes in. Special needs planning makes that a possibility and gives you confidence about your…
The Disabled Military Child Protection Act allows military families with special needs children to protect their children’s eligibility for public benefits while allowing them to participate in their Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP). The military’s Survivor Benefit Plans permit monthly benefit stipends, up to 55% of the military member’s pension, to be paid for the benefit of a disabled child. The Disabled Military Child Protection Act grants military members the authority to name a First Party…
Disability Programs for Military Service Members Every year, on Memorial Day, we honor service members who have given their lives or been wounded for our freedom Both the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have disability programs. Military service members and veterans may qualify for disability benefits through one of these programs but not the other, or they may qualify for both. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers benefits…
We are often asked by parents if it is possible to protect an inheritance for an adult child who battles Bipolar Disorder.  Unfortunately, one of the hallmarks of the disorder is excessive financial spending while in the mania phase of the disease.  Parents often worry that if they leave an inheritance outright to their adult child that it will be lost or squandered quickly and that mom or dad will no longer be around to…
What is the difference between Powers of Attorney and Guardianships? As we age, decision-making about money or health care can get harder as physical or mental conditions change.  If a person loses the capacity to make big decisions, powers of attorney or guardianships provide different ways to plan for making important choices on a person’s behalf.  Understanding the differences between them can help make sure a senior or disabled person and their property are well…
Last year the Social Security Administration (SSA) specifically clarified that True Link Cards (make clickable to https://www.truelinkfinancial.com/ ) can be used to make disbursements from Special Needs Trusts (SNT) for beneficiaries who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). As long as the correct card settings are in place according to the guidelines in SSA’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS), True Link Cards provided by a trustee to SNT beneficiaries are not countable as income or as…
Social Security Disability is a government program that pays monthly benefits to individuals who become disabled and can no longer work. In order to qualify, the individual must have a disability that is severe enough to prevent  them from working for a year or more, or result in death.  The claimant must have also accumulated enough work credits throughout his or her career, the amount of which will depend on his or her age at…
What Happens to the Funds in a Special Needs Trust When the Beneficiary Dies? A Special Needs Trust is a specialized legal tool that allows a beneficiary with disabilities to utilize property or money held in the trust for his or her benefit, without jeopardizing the ability to access essential needs-based public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Special care is often taken by parents or loved ones of those who have…
The heart of estate planning for most parents comes down to one thing – making decisions that they think will be best for their surviving children. Making these decisions can be especially challenging when one or more of the children has special needs. Not knowing how their child will fair after they are gone can be heart-wrenching. The U.S. Census Bureau says that approximately 20% of Americans between the ages of 16 and 64 suffer…