LIFE EVENTS

special needs trust

A trust designed to hold and disburse property for the benefit of an SSI recipient so that SSI and Medicaid won't consider the trust property or disbursements to be a resource or income. To accomplish this purpose, the trust typically gives the trustee sole discretion over trust disbursements and bars the trustee from making disbursements that would impair the beneficiarys eligibility for SSI and Medicaid. In addition, the trust must be for the beneficiarys sole benefit and bar creditors from going after trust assets. A special needs trust funded with the beneficiarys own property (a self-settled trust) is subject to additional restrictions. Also called a supplemental needs trust.

special administrator

1) A person appointed by acourt to take charge of only a designated portion of an estate during probate. For example, a special administrator with particular expertise on art might be appointed to oversee the probate of a wealthy person's art collection, but not the entire estate. 2) A person appointed to be responsible for a deceased person's property for a limited time or during an emergency, such as a challenge to the will or to the qualifications of the named executor. In such cases, the special administrator's duty is to maintain and preserve the estate, not necessarily to take control of the probate process. (See also: administrator, administrator pendente lite, administrator ad litem)

sole custody

A custody arrangement under which one parent is the only one to have either legal or physical custody or both. A parent with sole physical custody has the right to live with the child, while the other parent has visitiation rights. A parent with sole legal custody has the right to make all decisions affecting the child, including decisions about education, religion, and medical care.

Social Security tax

A portion of the FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) tax that is 12.4% of an individual's net earned income. The employee's share of the Medicare tax is 6.2% of wages up to a certain limit (called the Social Security Wage Base) that increases each year. The employer's share of the Medicare tax is 6.2% of an employee's wages up to that limit.

Social Security statement

An accounting of each worker's earnings and work credits for purposes of calculating the amount of Social Security retirement, disability, survivors, or dependents benefits to which an individual is entitled. Social Security statements are generally mailed out each year to people age 40 and older. You can request your statement from the Social Security Administration.

SLAPP suit

Definition

Stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. Lawsuit filed strategically by a corporation against a group or activist opposing certain action taken by the corporation, usually in the realm of an environmental protest. Typical claims underlying a SLAPP suit are libel, slander or restraint of business. Many states have adopted anti-SLAPP statutes in the interest of protecting free speech that provide for speedy hearings of the claims and the possibility of the defendant recovering legal fees and punitive damages.

 

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