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ABLE Accounts: New Tool for Individuals with a Disability - 2017
  • CA2665D

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Who should purchase:

  • Elder law attorneys
  • Estate planning practitioners
  • Guardians ad litem
  • Any lawyers interested in public benefits planning for their clients

How you’ll benefit:

  • Learn the ins and outs of ABLE accounts
  • Discover the pros and cons of these tax-advantaged savings accounts
  • Understand the eligibility requirements and specific limitations of ABLE accounts

The game has changed

Imagine you have a disabled client who depends on public benefits, but is also able to work and manages to save more than $2,000. Suddenly, as a result of that savings, their public benefits disappear. How can your client pay expenses not covered by public benefits if he or she can’t have more than $2,000?

While a Special Needs Trust can store money for the long-term, what about saving for more immediate needs? Enter the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account. Discover what this new option can mean for those on public benefits in Wisconsin at ABLE Accounts: New Tool for Individuals with a Disability.

Financial flexibility

As long as the beneficiary meets certain criteria, an ABLE account allows an individual with a disability to save up to $14,000 without it counting against the $2,000 limit required to continue receiving public benefits. In Wisconsin, deposits are tax-deductible, earnings grow tax-free, and withdrawals to cover living expenses and other qualified costs are also tax-free.

Dive into the details of ABLE accounts as you learn:

  • Basic components
  • How to establish an account
  • Advantages and disadvantages
  • How it differs from and can work together with a special needs trust
  • What happens to remaining funds at the beneficiary’s death

An individual can open an account in any state that has an ABLE program with nationwide eligibility. That means your clients can choose the state program offering the most desirable benefits for their situation. Learn how to compare these existing state programs.

In addition, the presenters will share examples of situations where an ABLE account may make sense. You’ll also find out the latest on the long-anticipated POMS SI for ABLE accounts.

Are you ABLE to join us?

Learn how to help individuals and families take advantage of this exciting new benefit by attending ABLE Accounts: New Tool for Individuals with a Disability. Purchase now!

About the presenters

Barbara S. Hughes, J.D. UW Law School 1986, is an attorney with Christenson Johnson, LLC of Fitchburg. Her practice focuses on special needs and elder law, estate planning, and probate and trust administration. She is a member of:

  • Special Needs Alliance
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
  • Elder Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Madison Estate Council

Barbara has lectured nationally for NAELA as well as the Stetson Special Needs Trust National Conference. She was a member of the Elder Law Section’s committee responsible for creating WisPACT, Inc. and helped draft WisPACT Trust II. Barbara is currently vice president of the ARC-Dane County’s board of directors.

Iris M. Christenson is a partner with Christenson Johnson, LLC, where she focuses her practice in estate planning, elder law, estate and trust administration, special needs planning, and real estate law. She graduated cum laude from the UW Law School in 1990.

Iris is a frequent presenter on topics related to estate planning and elder law for the City of Madison, Dane County, State of Wisconsin employees, and the State Bar. She is a member of:

  • Elder Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Wisconsin Council of Estate Planning Attorneys

She is also the chair-elect of the State Bar’s Elder Law Section and sits on the board of directors for the Alzheimer’s Association.


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