March is Disability Awareness Month

Each March, we join the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities in commemorating Disability Awareness Month.
 
This year’s 30th anniversary theme, “People, Not Punchlines,” seeks to combat the ignorance, naivety, or insensitivity that can keep us from connecting with one another.

 

We love that this campaign uses humor to open a conversation and highlight ways in which we can all attempt to understand one another better.

Questions about planning for yourself or a loved one with a disability?

Let us know.

We can help.

 

2020 Session of the IN General Assembly-“Nihil de Nobis, sine Nobis!”

Nothing About Us Without Us!”

(Latin: “Nihil de nobis, sine nobis!”)

The 2020 session of the Indiana General Assembly begins this month and ends in mid-March.

We believe-and we expect you agree- that no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of members of the group(s) affected by that policy. That’s you!

As a citizen, your opinions are important-and help elected officials decide how to vote on issues.

So use your powerful voice to send a message about the kind of government you want! Let your elected officials know your opinions-whatever they may be- through letters, emails, phone calls and meetings.

You can call your IN state representative at 317-232-9600.

And you can visit the Indiana general assembly here.

Spreading Joy- Stasia Joins Board of Directors for Joy’s House

In this season of Thanksgiving, we are grateful (and truly excited) to announce that Anastasia has been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors for Joy’s House in Indianapolis, starting January 1st, 2020.

Joy’s House serves adults living with life-altering diagnoses and their families by providing exceptional adult day and caregiver services.

To learn more about the mission of this remarkable organization or contribute to their life-changing mission, please visit Joy’s House on the web here. 

Join Us for the 2019 Indiana Conference on Disability

We’re truly excited to announce that Stasia will be a presenter at the upcoming 2019 Indiana Conference on Disability, sponsored by the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities.
 
This event will be held 11/17-11/19 at the Indianapolis Downtown Marriott. Stasia’s presentation about the interplay between ABLE accounts and Special Needs Trusts is currently scheduled for 11/18 @ 3:45.
 
Come and hear disability and civil rights pioneers.
 
Listen to internationally recognized disability advocates.
 
Learn from visionaries who are expanding the world’s concept and representation of beauty by celebrating new faces and new bodies.
 
This event will bring together administrators, educators, service providers, health professionals, parents, family members, youth and adults with disabilities, and advocates from throughout Indiana to share experiences, network, and learn the latest in disability-related policies and practices.
 

Register for the event here.

We’d love for you to join us.

Resisting “Estate Planning Fatigue”

Estate planning fatigue.  It’s a real thing.

The decisions that need to be made as part of the estate planning process are significant and the laws ever-changing.

We know that the process of navigating through significant personal and financial decisions might feel overwhelming and emotional and can lead to procrastination.

The good news? We have decades of experience.  We can advise you as to the implications of your choices so that you can make more thoughtful decisions. We have staying power. And we can break up big decisions into smaller ones so that your stamina doesn’t fade midstream.

Let us help you with the heavy lifting.

 

Planning for Pets

Many of our wonderful clients are animal lovers (we are too!)

Your creatures are quirky and beloved members of your family but, alas, they can’t take care of themselves. And some pets-like parrots-live for a long, long time.

We regularly provide for pets in people’s estate plans.

While you can’t leave money property directly to a pet, you can name a caretaker in your will and leave that person money to care for your creatures.

You could also consider the use of a pet trust, where a trustee of your choosing makes payments on a regular basis to your pet’s caregiver and pays for your pet’s needs as they come up.

Questions about planning for your pet?

Bring them to meet us (yes, really.)

Caregiver Crossing

We have a face for radio!

Big thanks to Emmis Communications & our friends at Joy’s House for inviting Stasia to join them for “Caregiver Crossing,” a program designed to provide information and support to anyone caring for a loved one. (They even provided Girl Scout cookies for sustenance.)

Stasia discussed ABLE accounts, along with Indiana State Treasurer, Kelly Mitchell, and Amy Corbin, the Executive Director of Indiana’s ABLE program, INvestABLE Indiana.

Earlybirds can tune in to Caregiver Crossing on 93.1 FM WIBC this Saturday morning, March 9th, from 7-8 am, or we’ll post a link to the podcast when/if one comes available.

ABLE accounts, also known as 529A accounts, allow eligible individuals with disabilities to save for their future and pay for disability related expenses. Savings in ABLE accounts do not affect certain means tested benefits.

Questions about ABLE accounts or broader-scale estate planning for your loved one with special needs?

We can help.

New Bill Proposes Tax Credit for Contributions to INvestABLE Indiana accounts

ABLE accounts, also known as 529A accounts, allow eligible people with disabilities and their families an easy way to save money (up to a certain threshold) without jeopardizing their benefits for Medicaid and Social Security.

Indiana’s ABLE program (INvestABLE Indiana) was launched in 2017 and we regularly recommend it to our clients with disabilities and their families.

Now, Indiana ABLE Authority and the Treasurer’s office are working to improve the program by the addition of a tax credit.

INvestABLE Indiana accounts currently do not afford the same tax benefits as the CollegeChoice 529 programs, but Senate Bill 559 and House Bill 1350 are before members of the Indiana General Assembly this session. This legislation would correct that dissimilarity and provide contributors of both programs the same tax incentives.

The digest of the language for both introduced bills is as follows:

“ABLE account tax credit. Creates a stand-alone credit for contributions to Indiana ABLE accounts. Provides that a taxpayer is entitled to a credit against adjusted gross income tax equal to the least of: (1) 20% of the amount of the total contributions made by the taxpayer to an account or accounts of an Indiana ABLE 529A savings plan during the taxable year; (2) $1,000; or (3) the amount of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income tax for the taxable year, reduced by the sum of all allowable credits. Provides that a taxpayer is not entitled to a carryback, carryover, or refund of an unused credit. Provides that a taxpayer may not sell, assign, convey, or otherwise transfer the tax credit. Provides that an account owner of an Indiana ABLE 529A savings plan must repay all or a part of the credit in a taxable year in which any nonqualified withdrawal is made. Provides that a rollover of assets or transfer of assets to an Indiana ABLE 529A account is a qualified withdrawal from a college choice 529 education savings plan.”

We’ll definitely be watching the progress of this bill. And we strongly support any legislation that further incentivizes opportunities for financial literacy and mobility for people with disabilities.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Here’s to eating clean, moving more, being more intentional with time, and getting those little ducks in a row.

We usually get a deluge of estate planning inquiries in January as people make good on those resolutions.

Let us know if we can help.

All Access Pass-Providing Additional Benefits for Hoosiers Receiving Medicaid

Public Service Announcement:

We attended Winterlights at Newfields this weekend-just one of countless wonderful holiday activities around Indy. It was breathtaking.

If someone in your family receives health care via Medicaid or participates in certain other state assistance programs, then you should definitely know about the Access Pass!

Here’s how it works-Families that meet the requirements can visit all participating locations (think Winterlights, The Children’s Museum, Conner Prairie, The Eiteljorg, etc) for just $2 per family member per visit, for up to two adults and dependent youth living in the household.

We love seeing increased accessibility for these sorts of cultural events.

(And-in related news- we also love seeing increased accessibility for legal services-which is a major motivator for what we do.)

Learn more about the Access Pass Program here.

Happiest of holidays to you and yours.