Jean Galloway Ball, PLC

Jean Galloway Ball, Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)
Loretta Morris Williams, CELA
Katherine Larkin

10306 Eaton Place, Suite 130
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

The law offices of Jean Galloway Ball, PLC, have offered high-quality legal services to families with special needs in northern Virginia and suburban Maryland since 1988. Our services are custom-tailored to our clients’ specific needs in planning for their and their families’ futures. Our attorneys bring a depth of knowledge and experience in public benefit programs and disability resources when advising clients with special needs as to the legal remedies available to them.

Our attorneys routinely work with the parents of special needs children to ensure high-quality care and support in living a full and healthy life. We offer support in a variety of ways, including: advising clients on eligibility for public benefits, creating special needs trusts, representing clients in guardianship/conservator proceedings, and general estate planning.

Public Benefit
Our attorneys help families with disabled children advance through the maze of state and federal public benefits, including Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and other governmental benefit programs. As part of our comprehensive special needs planning services, we will discuss eligibility for such government benefits that may be available to your disabled loved one.

Special Need Trusts
Our attorneys help families create Special Needs Trusts (also known as Supplemental Needs Trusts), which allow the parents of children with a disability to manage the child’s assets even after they turn 18, protect their child’s inheritance, and qualify their child for public benefit programs, including Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Special needs trusts may be third-party settled or self- settled. Both types of trusts provide for discretionary distributions from the trust for the benefit of the disabled beneficiary to provide for services that are not otherwise provided by public benefits or insurance.

Our attorneys are experienced in both types of special needs trusts and are able to advise our clients as to which fits the clients’ needs. With their in-depth knowledge of public benefit laws at the state and federal level, our attorneys are uniquely qualified to put the right type of special needs trust in place to protect our clients and their families. We also can assist in structuring personal injury and medical malpractice settlements to protect eligibility for government assistance.

Guardianship and Conservatorship
When a child turns 18, he or she is considered an adult under the law, regardless of capacity. Our attorneys can assist parents of children with special needs to draft medical and financial powers of attorney or establish guardianship and conservatorship so that the parents or a trusted individual can help make the important decisions for their disabled adult child. Guardianship provides the opportunity to make non-financial decisions about the disabled adult child, including living arrangements and medical decisions. Conservatorship provides the ability to manage the financial affairs of the disabled adult child.

Our attorneys understand that families sometimes disagree over who should be in charge of a special needs adult child. They are experienced in litigating contested guardianship and conservatorship actions. Our attorneys help our clients see that their loved one is protected and that an appropriate person is appointed by the court to care for them.

Estate Planning
Estate planning is often of importance to families with special needs children to ensure that these children continue to be cared for after their parents’ deaths and to ensure that their rightful inheritance is protected for their benefit through use of special needs trusts. Our attorneys are experienced in drafting wills, testamentary trusts, and living trusts, as well as durable and medical powers of attorney and advanced health care directives.

Special needs planning is a priority at Jean Galloway Ball, PLC. Our attorneys can offer you straightforward answers, fact-based guidance and family-center support.

The Firm’s owner, Jean Galloway Ball, is an honors graduate of the National Law Center, George Washington University. She is certified in Elder Law by the National Elder Law Foundation, a certification that is predicated on demonstrated knowledge and experience in numerous areas of law relevant to senior citizens and disabled persons. She was recently named a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the highest honor bestowed by NAELA on its members, and was named the most valuable member of the Virginia Chapter of the Academy (VAELA) for 2010. In addition to being a member of NAELA and VAELA, she is a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners and sits on the Circuit Court Committee for the Fairfax Bar Association. Jean was recently named as an Influential Woman of Virginia for 2011 by the Virginia Lawyers Media. Jean also has been selected as a Super Lawyer in the field of Elder Law in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 in both the Virginia and the Washington DC metro area.

When you choose Jean Galloway Ball, PLC, to assist you with your special needs planning, you can rest assured that you will receive highly attentive service, individualized guidance and representation, not generic legal advice or prepackaged forms. We invite you to call us today and visit our website for more information.

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Jean Galloway Ball, PLC