All Articles By Ruthann P. Lacey, P.C.

Ruthann P. Lacey, P.C.
Elder and Special Needs Law

Ruthann Lacey is an alumna of Trinity College and Emory University School of Law, is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia and Washington, D.C., and is a Certified Elder Law Attorney. Her practice concentrates on planning for the unique and complex concerns of the elder population, and of children and adults with special needs.

Ruthann is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the Special Needs Alliance, a charter member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners, and a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the Georgia Bar Association, and the Atlanta Bar Association. Ruthann has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” every year since 2006; was named one of the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Georgia in 2007, 2009, and 2010; and was included in the “Georgia Trend” selection of Georgia’s Top Attorneys in 2012, all based on surveys of her peers. Ms. Lacey has an AV rating in Martindale-Hubbell, and was included in the 2013 Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers.

Ruthann is past chair of the Elder Law Section of the Georgia Bar, serves on the Continuity of Law Practice Committee of the Georgia Bar, belongs to the Fiduciary Law Section of the Georgia Bar Association, and is a Life Fellow with the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia. She is a member of the Elder Law and Small Firm Sections of the Atlanta Bar Association.

Ruthann belongs to the DeKalb Estate Planning Council, is a member of the board of Family Initiative Residences, Inc., and is actively involved with several volunteer and charitable organizations. She is a past Director of the National Elder Law Foundation.

Ruthann is an active speaker on the local, state and national levels, to both professional and public groups and organizations. Recent engagements include serving as Program Chair for the fifteenth annual Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia Special Needs Trust program; presenting at the 2015 Missouri NAELA Annual Elder Law Symposium; presenting at the 2015 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention; presenting with the ICLE Webinar Series; presenting at the 8th Annual Utah Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Medicaid Planning 2011 program; presenting at the 9th Annual Utah Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Medicaid Planning 2012 program; presenting at the Stetson University 2011 Special Needs Trusts – The National Conference; serving as a guest Professor of Law at John Marshall Law School; serving on the faculty of Southern Trust School; presenting at the NAELA Symposium and at NAELA Fundamentals Day; facilitating at the NAELA Advanced Practitioner’s Program; presenting to the Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education; the Tennessee Bar Association; Medicaid Irrevocable Qualified Income Trust Training; The Coca-Cola Company; the Financial Planning Association; the Cobb County Bar Association Elder Law Section; Emory University’s Senior University; Delta Employees Credit Union; the People’s Law School; the Atlanta Bar Association’s Legal Eagles CLE Series; the Atlanta Special Needs Trust Discussion Group; Georgia State University; the Joint Conference on Law and Aging; the Georgia Chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society; Church groups; Civic groups; Alzheimer’s Support Groups; and AARP Chapters. She also has been an Instructor of Estates, Trusts and Wills and Legal Research at the National Center for Paralegal Training, has drafted Elder Law legislation for submission to the Georgia General Assembly, and is an editor and published writer.

Among other accomplishments, Ruthann has been published in the Georgia Bar Journal, Family Law Quarterly (a publication of the American Bar Association), Georgia Probate Notes, Exceptional Parent, Money Matters, Inside Money, Senior News, and NAELA News, edited the Medicaid chapters in A Will is Not Enough in Georgia, contributed to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Long-Term Care Planning, and The CPA’s Guide to Long-Term Care Planning, has appeared as a guest on the Clark Howard Show, the Layman’s Lawyer, Money Matters, Inside Money, People to People, Professional Review, and Atlanta Issues, has been mentioned in Consumers Digest, has been cited in Elder Care and Nursing Home Litigation in Georgia, and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlanta Journal – Constitution, The Family Connection, and the American Bar Association Journal.

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April 18, 2017

How Do New Laws Impact Special Needs Trusts?

Categories: Special Needs

special needs trust

A Special Needs Trust allows for the beneficiary to qualify for or maintain eligibility for government benefits like Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid, while maintaining a higher quality of life than would otherwise be possible. In the realm of special needs planning there are two basic types of Special Needs Trusts: First Party Trusts and […]

February 21, 2017

Key Tips for Financial Advisors on Servicing Aging Clients

Categories: Clients, Elder Abuse

active elderly couple

Seniors, Elders, Aging Adults, People of Age, Old People, Mature Adults, Geriatric?  All people perceive age in different ways at different times in their lives, and Baby Boomers are an entirely unpredictable bunch. Today, more than ever, financial advisors need to develop a comfortable relationship by listening to how clients present themselves. We need to adapt our […]

November 29, 2016

Top 4 Compassionate Holiday Gift Ideas for Seniors

Categories: Elder Abuse, Health & Wellness

Top 4 Compassionate Holiday Gift Ideas for Seniors

The holidays are a time when we connect and make memories with the ones who mean the most to us. But it seems that the longer we live the more complicated life can become for us. Remembering lost loved ones and happy times gone can be heart-warming but can cause seniors to feel sad. Factors […]

October 25, 2016

Holiday Scams: 14 Ways Advisors Can Help Prevent Elder Abuse

Categories: Clients, Elder Abuse

Holiday Scams: 14 Ways Advisors Can Help Prevent Elder Abuse

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are a time of celebration and cheer but the Federal Trade Commission cautions that certain groups, such as the elderly, are more vulnerable targets to scammers at this time of year.  Seniors often live alone, are less inclined to demand evidence or hang up, or have a nest egg that […]

August 23, 2016

Advisors: 9 Ways to Recognize Elder Abuse and Neglect

Categories: Elder Abuse

Advisors: 9 Ways to Recognize Elder Abuse and Neglect

The incidence of elder abuse and neglect is on the rise in America. In today’s world, the planning professional must become more familiar with the varied presentations of elder abuse and neglect. Abuse is just the tip of the iceberg and neglect has been widely overlooked. Neglect is the failure to provide necessary care, assistance, […]

June 28, 2016

Identifying the Influencers for the Aging and Future Generations

Categories: Clients, Elder Abuse

elder abuse

InvestmentNews Data reports that 66% of children fire their parent’s financial advisor after they receive an inheritance. This seems ironic because these same children receive the benefit of the planning that the advisors provided to their parents. What is wrong with this picture? To work with aging individuals and never develop a relationship with their […]

May 24, 2016

Managing Key Client Documents in the Modern Age

Categories: Client Segmentation, Elder Abuse, Investment

Managing Key Client Documents in the Modern Age

Most people pride themselves on managing their lives and working hard so that they and their children can have better lives. They’re are busy people and choose to rely on professional financial advisors to help increase the value of their assets. ‘Let your money work for you’ says it all, right? So while the money […]

April 19, 2016

3 Tips on Crafting a Plan for Aging Clients

Categories: Elder Abuse, Health & Wellness

3 Tips on Crafting a Plan for Aging Clients

The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2030 there will be approximately 71.5 million Americans over the age of 65. That number is more than twice what it was in 2000, and represents nearly 20% of the entire projected 2030 population. Today in the US, one-third of all households are home to one or more persons […]

March 22, 2016

Ending Elder Abuse: 12 Ways to Preserve Legacy for Life and Beyond 



Categories: Elder Abuse, Health & Wellness

Ending Elder Abuse: 12 Ways to Preserve Legacy for Life and Beyond 



As a society when we hear the term “elder abuse” we often think of physical abuse or neglect, which is a medical way of thinking. As a financial professional you may think of “elder abuse” as financial abuse or wrongdoing. Put yourself in your client’s place. Here are 3 crucial questions they need to ask you […]

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