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A Lawyer's Guide to Working with Special Needs Clients


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About the Author

RICHARD A. ("Rick") COURTNEY has practiced law since 1978 and is a founding partner of the Madison law firm of Courtney Elder Law Associates PLLC. 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. Licensed to practice before all state and federal courts in Mississippi, 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 Probate and Trust 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, has been included 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, he was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, that organization's highest honor. Rick testified before Congress in September 2015 in support of legislation supporting adults with disabilities. Rick and his wife, Ruthie, have adult twin daughters, one of whom has a disability. Rick has been active in community involvement as a Director of Mustard Seed, Inc., President and Director of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation of Mississippi, Inc., President of the Advisory Board of Hospice Ministries Inc., a director of the Heritage School for children with learning disabilities, member of the Occupational Therapy Council of Advisors for the Mississippi State Department of Health, and a member of the Alzheimer's Association-Middle Mississippi Chapter. He has written articles and has delivered many presentations for lawyers, health-care professionals, churches and community groups on elder law and estate planning subjects and topics of interest to senior adults, caregiver children and spouses, and families with special needs.


"In this book, Rick Courtney writes knowledgeably from both a personal and a professional level. The book is incredibly practical, with real-world examples as well as comprehensive and concise substantive information. This book should be part of the library for any lawyer who does estate planning, elder law, or special needs planning."--Rebecca C. Morgan, Professor of Law, Boston Asset Management Chair in Elder Law, Stetson University College of Law
"Rick Courtney is a leading expert on planning for persons with special needs. He shares his years of practical and personal knowledge in this outstanding book. It is a wonderful resource for any attorney but is essential for those who practice estate planning."--Richard Gershon, LL.M. (Taxation), Professor of Law and former Dean, University of Mississippi School of Law

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