Will Stimulus Payments Disrupt My Public Benefits?

March 24, 2021

Will Stimulus Payments Disrupt My Public Benefits?

If you are on public benefits and receiving a stimulus payment, then you are probably concerned about how the payment will affect your public benefits (ex. MassHealth or SSI).  In short, it will not.

Stimulus payments are not considered “income.”   They are also not considered “assets” UNLESS you are still holding the stimulus payment twelve months from now.

So what should you do with the stimulus payment?  One option, of course, is to spend it, and that’s exactly what it was designed for.  Another option is to deposit it into an ABLE account.  If you were disabled before age 26, it could make sense for you to have an ABLE account, if you don’t already.  You can read more about ABLE accounts here.

For more information on the stimulus payment and public benefits, see this article by Special Needs Answers.

As always, please reach out if you have questions about public benefits or other elder law and special needs planning topics.

– Alexis

Seeking an Associate

March 22, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alexis @ 9:04 PM

Seeking an Associate

We are an entrepreneurial elder law and special needs planning firm in Norwell that is on track for growth, and we need an experienced associate to join our team and work directly with the owner to help our clients.  Our team consists of one attorney/owner, one legal assistant, and one paralegal.

We are known for helping our clients to stay at home for as long as possible, find the care they need, and still leave something behind for their families – and for doing those things because we care.

We are growing fast, and we need an associate who can hit the ground running (or if not running, then at least jogging).  We are looking for a self-starter who will be able to work effectively without much supervision.  We need an associate with experience in some combination of elder law, special needs planning, veterans benefits, MassHealth planning, estate planning, and probate.  Please note that we do not do litigation.

The ideal candidate will be able to take initiative and complete tasks with minimal hand-holding.  Applicant must have at least one – three years of experience in any of our listed fields.  More years of experience also welcome!  Applicant must have a demonstrated commitment to elders and special needs individuals.  We love our work and are passionate about helping our clients – we are seeking an associate who feels the same way.

This position will be responsible for important work, including:

  • Working with clients to elicit their issues and goals.
  • Solving the puzzle of how to fund the care clients need, to stay at home for as long as possible, without burning through all of their assets.
  • Creating estate plans that make things as easy as possible for the heirs, maintain family harmony, and, for families with special needs heirs, protect the heir’s continued access to public benefits.
  • Managing all probates.
  • Understanding an array of programs, laws, and regulations, and applying them to each family’s unique situation. Namely, but not limited to: Medicaid, Medicare, health insurance, life insurance, long-term care insurance, drug plans, annuities, reverse mortgages, Social Security (SSI, SSDI, retirement), PACE, EOEA and ASAP programs, VA benefits, housing options and programs (both public and private), estate planning, trusts, probate, tax (income, capital gains, estate, gift), and real estate transfers.

If the statements below apply to you, then you may be our next associate!

  • Have a minimum of one – three years of experience in any of our listed fields. More years of experience also welcome and appreciated.
  • Are ready to work approximately 40 hours per week.
  • Can combine working from home with time in the Norwell office. Must be able and willing to work in our office two – three days per week (post-quarantine).
  • Are passionate about assisting clients and families with all facets of elder care and special needs planning, from financing home care, planning for nursing home care, planning for special needs children, creating estate plans, and more.
  • Have a demonstrated commitment to elders and/or special needs individuals.
  • Enjoy getting to know families one at a time and helping each work through their particular web of issues and goals.
  • Are happy to manage all probate matters.
  • Are able to work with people in crisis and/or with diminishing capacity.
  • Have strong verbal communications skills.
  • Have impeccable writing skills. Must write in “plain English” – no “legalese.”
  • Have down-to-earth, approachable personality.
  • Are exceptionally detail oriented.
  • Have ability and desire to work independently.
  • Enjoy puzzles or detective novels. (OK, so this one’s not a requirement, but it’s a helpful trait!)
  • Ask good questions.
  • Have a joy of learning.
  • Are familiar with Macs, or, happy to learn them.
  • J.D. with a Massachusetts license.
  • Are seeking your long-term “work home.” As a solo law firm, we are not in the position to invest time in an associate who seeks to gain some experience and move on.  We are looking for the right fit that will suit both you and the firm for many years.

Pay starts at $50,000 per year, to increase as certain benchmarks are met.


To apply:

Prepare a cover letter with no more than two paragraphs, plus a closing sentence.  In the first paragraph, explain what you believe are the three most important qualities needed in someone who works with elder law and special needs planning clients and why you believe these are the most important qualities.  In the second paragraph, explain why you applied to this particular posting.  As a closing sentence, please write, “I have read the instructions contained in the job posting and have followed the instructions.”

Do not send your materials through this website.  Email your resume and cover letter in PDF format to doreen@alexislevitt.com.  The subject line of the email should be your last name (all caps), followed by the position you are applying for (lower case), followed by one word that you would use to describe yourself (all caps).  For example: SMITH paralegal AWESOME.

We look forward to reviewing your application.

Applications received through Indeed.com, other job sites, or that do not conform to the instructions above will not be considered.

Please note that there is no public transportation to our area.

No telephone calls or third-party recruiters, please.

What Matters to Me Workbook

March 2, 2021

My favorite topic!

If you have been reading these newsletters, then you know that the subject that I return to over and over again (and again and again) is the health care proxy and the importance of advance care planning.  If you are ever in a situation where you are unable to make your own health care decisions, then your trusted decision makers will be able to speak for you only if you give them the authority to do so (that’s the health care proxy you signed).  But also, they will need to know what matters most to you, which turns on you knowing and conveying what matters most.

Well, you are in luck, because the good folks at Ariadne labs (that’s Atul Gawande’s lab – if you haven’t read Being Mortal, pick it up and start reading it now!) and the Conversation Project (remember Ellen Goodman from the Globe?  She’s been busy since “retirement) are here to help.  They have done the field research and reviewed the data, and they used these to develop a fabulous new workbook that helps you both think through what matters most to you and also to convey your thoughts to the people who matter most.

The new workbook is called “What Matters to Me.”  You can download it here, or contact our office and we will print one out and mail it to you.

Please take the time to complete the workbook, and then pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

– Alexis