Episode Description

In the confusing world of trusts, there is one trust that you will want to know about for your aging loved one and that is the Special Needs Trust. This trust allows your loved one to remain on, or qualify for, Federal, State and other benefits while having funds in trust to assist with approved costs. If you have a sibling or are a parent of an adult with special needs, this is important for you to learn about. If you have a parent under age 65, particularly with limited resources, this will offer an option for funds to be available later while still qualifying for benefits. Join me and two very knowledgeable guests as we talk about the many benefits of using the Special Needs Trust now or for use in future planning.


John Attwood, NCG

John is with First American Bank and since 2006 has held certification as a Nationally Certified Guardian (NCG). This certification qualifies him to administer Special Needs and Personal Injury Settlement Trusts. His experience includes working with clients challenged by TBI, Paraplegia, Quadriplegia, and various forms of Mental Illness and Developmental Disabilities. Mr. Attwood has served as a Trust Officer focusing on Special Needs Trust Administration for 14 years. He has a passion for utilizing trust assets to enhance the life of the person with special needs. He holds a B.A. from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and is a graduate of American Bankers Association Intermediate and Advanced Trust School. John has served as President of the New Mexico Alzheimer’s Association and is on the Board of the NM Estate Planning Council. He also currently serves as Treasurer of The ARC of New Mexico, an organization dedicated to advocating for individuals with disabilities.

Susan Tomita, JD

Susan K. Tomita has practiced law since 1979. She received her B.A. at Stanford University and her J.D. at the University of Santa Clara Law School where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, and is admitted to practice in New Mexico and California. Ms. Tomita is a former Chairperson of the Elder Law Section of the New Mexico State Bar Association and is a member of American College of Trust and Estate Council (ACTEC), the Special Needs Alliance, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the New Mexico Estate Planning Council. She is a co-author of the “Handbook for Guardians and Conservators: A Practical Guide to New Mexico Law”, published by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. She has been designated as “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America both in the practice fields of “Trusts and Estates” and “Elderlaw” and is listed Martindale-Hubbell’s Directory of Preeminent Attorneys.

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