The NAELA Foundation will award Cohn Sisters' Scholarships for Patient Advocacy to attend the 2014 NAELA Annual Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. Apply by January 31, 2014.
The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Foundation is to promote the goals of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Elder and Special Needs Law profession through scholarships, advocacy, research and education.
The NAELA Foundation is in its early stages, as we focus our attention on two primary goals:
Awarding Cohn Sisters’ Scholarships for Patient Advocacy to members in financial need so that they can attend the Academy’s acclaimed national educational events, and
Creating a litigation advocacy fund that State Chapters, other nonprofit organizations, and individual members could draw on with the goal of establishing good legal precedent in matters of critical importance to older Americans and people with special needs.
In October 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court's decision on Hughes v. McCarthy adopted the arguments made in the amicus brief of NAELA and the Ohio State Bar Association that a transfer of assets from an institutionalized spouse to the community spouse prior to the date for which Medicaid coverage is sought may be made in any amount without penalty.
This is important for planning to protect the financial well-being of the community spouse who may subsequently be able to use any excess resources for his or her own financial needs, as was done in this case to provide income for the community spouse through an immediate annuity. The decision also recognized, as the amicus brief argued, that informal guidance letters from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should be given deference by the courts.
With a focus on litigation, the Foundation, working with NAELA's Litigation Committee, has become involved in possible precedent-setting cases touching on:
- Annuities as "planning tools";
- Pooled trust deposit for someone over age 65 is not an uncompensated transfer under federal law;
- Preventing the limitation of use of special needs trusts;
- Purchase of immediate annuities is permissible and should not be considered a countable asset; and
- Medicaid estate recovery and divestment provisions.
For more information, visit the NAELA Foundation Litigation page.
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Please note that contributions to the NAELA Foundation, a 501(c)3
nonprofit organization, are deductible as charitable contributions under
the Internal Revenue Code.