About

The 11th Annual Changes and Trends Affecting Special Needs Trusts brings together leading professionals in the SNT field, features the latest updates and hot topics, and offers a great set of materials including sample forms, drafting tips, sample language and resources. 

2015 program highlights include:
  • Recent developments and essential information on the recently passed ABLE Act
  • Get your Special Needs Trusts Basics on Thursday morning—the perfect foundation (and refresher!) for both new and experienced practitioners
  • Gain unique insight into drafting and administering SNTs from a panel of experienced attorney-trustees
  • Understand the options and opportunities in funding SNTs with IRAs
  • Explore the role of Medicare in special needs trust planning and what it means to practitioners in Texas
  • Learn the rules for calculating deemed income for SSI recipients
  • Review the steps necessary to close administration of an SNT, including probate proceedings and Medicaid reimbursement requirements
  • Hear updates and current issues from key agencies, including the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Learn more about available resources for your clients, including the Arc’s new online resource as well as options for affordable housing in Texas for adults with cognitive disabilities
  • Earn up to 2.25 hours of ethics
If you work with special needs trusts—or want to learn how to use, draft, fund and administer them—don't miss this program!

Event Schedule

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Thursday Morning, Feb. 5, 2015
    Presiding Officer:
    Patricia F. Sitchler, Schoenbaum, Curphy & Scanlan, P.C. - San Antonio, TX
  • 9:30 am
    Registration Opens

    Includes light refreshments.
  • 10:20 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS BASICS
  • 10:30 am
    1.00 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Special Needs Trusts Basics, Part I: Fundamentals of SNTs

    Randy Drewett, Attorney at Law - Beaumont, TX
    Wesley E. Wright, Wright Abshire, Attorneys - Bellaire, TX

    An overview of Special Needs Trusts, defining the different types of SNTs and explaining how these trusts are used to benefit individuals with disabilities. Emphasis is given on how Third-Party SNTs are utilized in estate planning, how Self-Settled SNTs can be used to protect personal injury settlements, inheritances, and other assets belonging to a beneficiary who is on Medicaid, and under what circumstances Pooled Trusts should be considered.
  • 11:30 am
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Special Needs Trusts Basics, Part II: ABCs of Public Benefits

    H. Clyde Farrell, Farrell & Pak PLLC - Austin, TX
    Christina Lesher, The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC - Houston, TX

    The fundamental rules and professional responsibilities every special needs attorney and trust officer should understand to protect eligibility of a trust beneficiary for SSI and Medicaid; and an introduction to other important means-tested benefits.
  • 12:00 pm
    Pick Up Lunch

    Included in registration.
  • Thursday Afternoon, Feb. 5, 2015
    Presiding Officer:
    Patricia F. Sitchler, Schoenbaum, Curphy & Scanlan, P.C. - San Antonio, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:20 pm
    0.75 hr
    Case Law Update

    Rebecca C. Morgan, Stetson University College of Law - Gulfport, FL
    Robert B. Fleming, Fleming & Curti, PLC - Tucson, AZ

    A review of significant cases from the past year, including trends represented in those cases and suggestions for attorneys working with special needs clients.
  • 1:05 pm
    Break

  • 1:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    Public Benefits Update

    H. Clyde Farrell, Farrell & Pak PLLC - Austin, TX
    Christina Lesher, The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC - Houston, TX

    Recent changes in law and policy affecting SSI, Medicaid and other benefits often needed by special needs trust beneficiaries, plus strategies for responding to those changes on behalf of beneficiaries.
  • 1:50 pm
    0.50 hr
    SSI and Deeming: Mystery Solved

    Bryn Anne Poland, Law Office of Pi-Yi Mayo - Baytown, TX

    Calculating deemed income for an SSI recipient is complicated and confusing. Learn the rules and calculations once and for all.
  • 2:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    Medicare and Special Needs Trusts: The Interplay

    Mary Alice Jackson, Mary Alice Jackson, P.C. - Austin, TX

    Explore the role of Medicare in special needs trust planning. Many SNT beneficiaries are or will become “dually-eligible” – what does that mean and what do practitioners and Trustees need to know?
  • 2:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    Update from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

    Sally Stalcup, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - Dallas, TX

    CMS answers some of their most frequently asked questions and provides an opportunity for attendees to get their questions answered.
  • 3:35 pm
    Break

  • 3:45 pm
    0.75 hr
    The View from HHSC and DADS

    Shari L. Nichols, Texas Health and Human Services Commission - Austin, TX
    Barry Ray Browning, Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services - Austin, TX

    A discussion of long-term care Medicaid eligibility and other current issues from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS).
  • 4:30 pm
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Personal Injury Settlements Subrogation and Lien Issues

    Judy Kostura, Judge, Kostura & Putman, P.C. - Austin, TX

    Medicare, Medicaid, VA, health insurers, disability insurers, hospitals and others all want a share of the personal injury settlement. Find out how much of it the client can keep and how to avoid malpractice in dividing the recovery.
  • 5:00 pm
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Planning for Clients with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

    Robert Pierce, The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC - Houston, TX

    What guardians and attorneys need to know about acquired brain injuries to better understand the needs of their clients.
  • 5:30 pm
    Adjourn to Reception
    Thank You to Our Reception Sponsor

    Frost Wealth Advisors
  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, Feb. 6, 2015
    Presiding Officer:
    Peyton Taylor, Texas Bankers Association - Austin, TX
  • 7:30 am
    Conference Room Opens

    Includes continental breakfast.
  • 8:00 am
    0.50 hr
    ABLE Update
    New session added as of 1.15.2015.

    Stephen W. Dale, The Dale Law Firm, PC - Pacheco, CA

    Recent developments and essential information on the recently passed ABLE Act. 
  • 8:30 am
    1.00 hr
    Update on Social Security Administration Treatment of Special Needs Trusts 

    Mary E. O'Byrne, Frank, Frank & Scherr, LLC - Lutherville, MD

    In recent years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has given more attention to the treatment of self-settled special needs trusts established pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1396p(d)(4).  Get an update on the status of the SSA trust centralization project, review changes in SSA policies, and learn the rules regarding establishing and administering trusts, the interpretation of “sole benefit” and on-going advocacy efforts in support of trust beneficiaries.  
  • 9:30 am
    0.75 hr
    “Tax Wise” Planning: Funding SNTs with IRAs

    Stephen W. Dale, The Dale Law Firm, PC - Pacheco, CA

    Learn how to work with a client’s tax and financial advisors to determine when to direct a qualified plan to a testamentary special needs trust, and how to work with the trustee to offset the income generated by the IRA distribution against the beneficiary’s deductible expenses. Through a series of case studies, understand how this strategy can reduce, and in some cases, eliminate the taxable income from the qualified plan.
  • 10:15 am
    Break

  • 10:30 am
    1.00 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Problems That Didn't Need to Happen: Attorney and Trustee Perspectives of Trust Drafting and Administration

    Moderator:
    Rebecca C. Morgan, Stetson University College of Law - Gulfport, FL
    Panelists:
    Robert B. Fleming, Fleming & Curti, PLC - Tucson, AZ
    Shawn P. Hughes, Broadway Bank - San Antonio, TX
    Nancy Sosa, Cadence Trust - Austin, TX

    An entertaining and interactive look at different perspectives of drafting to meet unique situations; plus how to handle administration issues, especially when the drafting has gone awry.
     
  • 11:30 am
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Trustees and Managing Real Property

    Robert B. Fleming, Fleming & Curti, PLC - Tucson, AZ

    Buying a home is often one of the most important items for a special needs trustee to consider. How to title the home, whether to allow others to live with the trust beneficiary, and whether to charge rent are all concerns that have to be addressed. After those tough decisions nothing else can go wrong, right?
  • 12:00 pm
    Pick Up Lunch

  • Friday Afternoon, Feb. 6, 2015
    Presiding Officer:
    Renée C. Lovelace, The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C. - Austin, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:20 pm
    0.25 hr
    Arc’s National Center for Future Planning

    Tresi Moore Weeks, The Weeks Law Firm - Plano, TX

    An update on the Arc’s new online resource designed to give aging family members of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities the practical assistance they need to plan for the individual’s future, including housing, personal care and daily living supports, decision-making and financial planning.
  • 12:35 pm
    0.50 hr
    Creating Home in Texas: Housing for Adults with Cognitive Disabilities and Social Challenges

    Robin LeoGrande, Community for Permanent Supported Housing - Plano, TX
    Commentator:
    Tresi Moore Weeks, The Weeks Law Firm - Plano, TX

    A look at the status of safe, affordable housing with supports for adults in Texas with cognitive disabilities and social challenges, as well as plans to address this emerging social issue. An example of an independent living assessment is also provided.
     
     
  • 1:05 pm
    Break

  • 1:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    1301 Management Trusts

    Pi-Yi Mayo, Law Office of Pi-Yi Mayo - Baytown, TX

    Creating an SNT for an individual with a disability who is otherwise competent, the requirements of SSA on who can petition the Court to create the trust, plus possible solutions.
     
  • 1:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Special Needs Trusts and Divorce

    Keith D. Maples, Noelke English Maples St. Leger Blair, LLP - Austin, TX
    Marilyn G. Miller, Attorney at Law - Dripping Springs, TX

    The importance of collaboration by divorce attorneys and special needs trust attorneys during the divorce and beyond.
     
  • 2:35 pm
    0.50 hr
    Closing Special Needs Trusts (with Current Medicaid Changes)

    Donald F. Carnes, Hill Ducloux Carnes & de la Garza - Austin, TX
    Nancy Sosa, Cadence Trust - Austin, TX
    Co-Author:
    David J. Reber, Johnson Jordan Cresswell Monk, PC - Dallas, TX

    A review of the steps, including probate proceedings and Medicaid reimbursement requirements, necessary to close administration of an SNT upon the death of the beneficiary.
  • 3:05 pm
    0.75 hr
    Disabilities and Degrees

    Moderator:
    John V. Coburn, Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services - Austin, TX
    Panelists:
    Renée C. Lovelace, The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C. - Austin, TX
    Larry K. Phillippe, Ed.D., Texas Tech University - Lubbock, TX

    College graduates with disabilities must often tackle many challenges in finding and maintaining employment while also retaining the medical and assistance services they need from public benefits programs. Gain insight into some of the most commonly-used work incentive programs, common problems graduates encounter, and new Texas innovations to help graduates transition from the campus to employment.
  • 3:50 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Barry Ray Browning

Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
Austin, TX

Donald F. Carnes

Hill Ducloux Carnes & de la Garza
Austin, TX

John V. Coburn

Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
Austin, TX

Stephen W. Dale

The Dale Law Firm, PC
Pacheco, CA

Randy Drewett

Attorney at Law
Beaumont, TX

H. Clyde Farrell

Farrell & Pak PLLC
Austin, TX

Robert B. Fleming

Fleming & Curti, PLC
Tucson, AZ

Shawn P. Hughes

Broadway Bank
San Antonio, TX

Mary Alice Jackson

Mary Alice Jackson, P.C.
Austin, TX

Judy Kostura

Judge, Kostura & Putman, P.C.
Austin, TX

Robin LeoGrande

Community for Permanent Supported Housing
Plano, TX

Christina Lesher

The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC
Houston, TX

Renée C. Lovelace

The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C.
Austin, TX

Keith D. Maples

Noelke English Maples St. Leger Blair, LLP
Austin, TX

Pi-Yi Mayo

Law Office of Pi-Yi Mayo
Baytown, TX

Marilyn G. Miller

Attorney at Law
Dripping Springs, TX

Rebecca C. Morgan

Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, FL

Shari L. Nichols

Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Austin, TX

Mary E. O'Byrne

Frank, Frank & Scherr, LLC
Lutherville, MD

Larry K. Phillippe, Ed.D.

Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX

Robert Pierce

The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC
Houston, TX

Bryn Anne Poland

Law Office of Pi-Yi Mayo
Baytown, TX

David J. Reber

Johnson Jordan Cresswell Monk, PC
Dallas, TX

Nancy Sosa

Cadence Trust
Austin, TX

Sally Stalcup

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Dallas, TX

Tresi Moore Weeks

The Weeks Law Firm
Plano, TX

Wesley E. Wright

Wright Abshire, Attorneys
Bellaire, TX

Planning Committee

Renée C. Lovelace—Co-Chair

The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C.
Austin, TX

Patricia F. Sitchler—Co-Chair

Schoenbaum, Curphy & Scanlan, P.C.
San Antonio, TX

Ashlee Bennett

Texas Bankers Association
Austin, TX

Leah Cohen

arrangeCARE
Austin, TX

Stephen W. Dale

The Dale Law Firm, PC
Pacheco, CA

Randy Drewett

Attorney at Law
Beaumont, TX

H. Clyde Farrell

Farrell & Pak PLLC
Austin, TX

Deborah A. Green

The Law Offices of Deborah Green
Austin, TX

Mary Alice Jackson

Mary Alice Jackson, P.C.
Austin, TX

Joanna Jefferson

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Christina Lesher

The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC
Houston, TX

Pi-Yi Mayo

Law Office of Pi-Yi Mayo
Baytown, TX

David J. Reber

Johnson Jordan Cresswell Monk, PC
Dallas, TX

Nancy Sosa

Cadence Trust
Austin, TX

Peyton Taylor

Texas Bankers Association
Austin, TX

Tresi Moore Weeks

The Weeks Law Firm
Plano, TX

Wesley E. Wright

Wright Abshire, Attorneys
Bellaire, TX

Credit Info

MCLE Credit
A Texas MCLE Reporting Form will be included in your course materials. Please complete and return to the registration desk and UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the State Bar of Texas, or you can self-report your credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com. A Certificate of Attendance will be provided at the conference to keep for your records.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  
At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the conference to keep for your records. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the conference.
Note on Self-Reporting Your Credits in Another State
If you wish to satisfy MCLE or other professional education requirements in another state for a program offered by the University of Texas School of Law, please check with the state bar or other licensing authority in that state before taking the program to ensure it will qualify for self-reporting your credits.
Other Credit
The University of Texas School of Law is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.

Delivery Method: Group-Live

To comply with NASBA Standards, attendees claiming CPE credit must sign in to verify attendance for each segment. Attendance sign-in sheets will be available at the registration desk. You will need your CPA license number to sign in. A CPE Certificate of Completion will be provided at the conclusion of the conference.

Reporting: CPAs are responsible for reporting CPE credits earned to their state's accountancy board, and must retain appropriate documentation of their participation in learning activities. Visit your state’s reporting website for more information or www.nasba.org.

Key Dates

Austin – Feb 5-6, 2015 – Radisson Hotel and Suites, Austin-Downtown
Conference Concluded
Buy
Austin
Last day for Individual early registration: Jan 28, 2015

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Jan 29, 2015

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Jan 28, 2015

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Jan 30, 2015
Last day for cancellation (partial refund): Feb 2, 2015

$50 processing fee applied

Venue

speaker

111 E. Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, TX
512.478.9611 (reservations)

Accommodations

The Radisson Hotel and Suites is sold out.  The following hotels currently have availability:  

Hampton Inn & Suites Austin-Downtown/Convention Center
Austin's Inn at Pearl Street

 

Parking Information

$3 daily parking; $8 overnight parking; $24 valet parking

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