A Lawyer's Guide to Working with Special Needs Clients

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 61 minutes
Recorded Date: November 06, 2019
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  • The Legacy of Disability Law
  • The Special Needs Community
  • Social Security Benefits
  • HUD Section 8 Housing & Trusts
  • SNAP - Food Stamp Benefits
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • ABLE Act
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: November 6, 2019


Over 12 percent of the American population have disabilities, and this population has been growing. They and their families face daily challenges of finding and paying for education, health care services, and even basic support. The tasks of day-to-day care can consume much of their energies. They are hungry for information and help with finding needed resources and planning for secure futures. Yet, efforts to find such information and planning advice online or in the community often lead to misinformation, mistaken conclusions, and even misguided planning that does not achieve the desired ends.

Join author and speaker Richard Courtney as he shares forms and planning techniques for drafting wills, powers of attorney, special needs trusts and other legal documents that will achieve the clients’ goals for health care and financial security in the future.

This program was recorded on November 6th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Richard A. Courtney

Founding Partner
Frascogna Courtney PLLC

Richard A. Courtney has practiced law since 1978 and is a founding partner of the Jackson law firm of Frascogna Courtney, PLLC, where he chairs the Courtney Elder Law Associates planning group.

His primary areas of practice are elder law, public benefits law (Medicaid, Medicare and SSI), personal asset protection and estate planning, trusts and trust administration, special needs planning for persons with disabilities, guardianships and conservatorships, nursing home and disability rights, and probate administration. Rick is the first attorney in Mississippi to be designated a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the American Bar Association-accredited National Elder Law Foundation. He is a former Assistant Dean and Adjunct Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law and current Adjunct Professor of Law at University of Mississippi School of Law. Rick is a former Director and member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners and the Trusts and Special Needs Section Steering Committees of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association; the Trusts and Estates Section of the Mississippi State Bar; the Mississippi Estate Planning Council; the Mississippi Financial Planning Association; and the Special Needs Alliance, a national organization of special needs planning attorneys ( He is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, is named in Best Lawyers in America in elder law and estate and trust law, and has been designated a Mid-South Super Lawyer annually since 2006 in the field of elder law by Law & Politics, Inc., through professional review and peer recommendation. In May 2009, Rick was awarded the 15th Annual Theresa Award by the New York-based Theresa Foundation, for community service and professional advocacy on behalf of children and adults with special needs. In 2014, Rick was selected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, that organization’s highest honor. Rick was invited in September 2015 to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives in support of legislation that was later enacted to improve the ability of persons with disabilities to create special needs trusts. He is the author of A Lawyer’s Guide to Working with Special Needs Clients published by the American Bar Association.

Richard D. Williamson

Robertson, Johnson, Miller & Williamson

Richard Williamson is a shareholder admitted to the state bars of Nevada and California as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has represented clients in numerous jury trials, bench trials, arbitration hearings, mediation, and administrative proceedings. His practice primarily focuses on Commercial Real Estate Law and Commercial and Complex Civil Litigation.

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