About

The 12th Annual Changes and Trends Affecting Special Needs Trusts brings together nationally recognized 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. This year’s program includes:
  • A special presentation from the Social Security Administration’s Regional Trust Review Team with must-have insight on the review process and opinions on amending trusts; plus Neal Winston with advice and tips for practitioners in handling the trust review process
  • Updates on recent Texas legislation, including the possible impacts of new Supported Decision-Making Agreement Act, and exploration of the Texas ABLE Act with Stephen W. Dale
  • A review of special needs trusts basics, including essential drafting tips and clauses from Craig C. Reaves; and the fundamental rules for protecting you client’s eligibility for SSI and Medicaid
  • Current issues and trends from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
  • Discussion on SNTs and tax planning, as well as a specific guidance on IRAs and SNTs
  • An exploration of veteran’s benefits and their impact on SNT planning
  • An in-depth look at the value of consulting with an SNT attorney in winding up PI litigation to preserve benefits and avoid unintended consequences with Patricia F. Sitchler
  • Earn up to 2.50 hours of ethics, plus network with program faculty and attendees at the Thursday Evening Reception
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. 4, 2016
    Presiding Officer:
    Patricia F. Sitchler, The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler - San Antonio, TX
  • 9:30 am
    Registration Opens

    Includes light refreshments.
  • 10:20 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 10:30 am
    1.00 hr
    How to Make a Trust a Special Needs Trust

    Craig C. Reaves, Reaves Law Firm, P.C. - Kansas City, MO

    Learn what is required for a trust to be a “special needs trust,” what clauses are important to include in the trust document, and which standard clauses should be left out.
  • 11:30 am
    1.00 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Maximizing 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; an update on recent SSI developments with a focus on trust policy; and an introduction to other important means‑tested benefits.
  • 12:30 pm
    Pick Up Lunch

    Included in registration.
  • Thursday Afternoon, Feb. 4, 2016
    Presiding Officer:
    Patricia F. Sitchler, The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler - San Antonio, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    Case Law Update

    Rebecca C. Morgan, Stetson University College of Law - Gulfport, FL
    Elisa Dillard Rainey, Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law LP - Waco, TX

    A review of significant cases from the past year, including trends represented in those cases and suggestions for attorneys working with special needs clients.
  • 1:35 pm
    Break

  • 1:50 pm
    0.50 hr
    Medicaid Planning for Kids

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

    Examine Medicaid benefits available to children with disabilities and to children of needy families, learn planning techniques that can be implemented to protect both types of Medicaid benefits, and evaluate possible trust distributions with a focus on providing the highest quality of life for these little ones.
  • 2:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    Texas Health and Human Services Commission Update

    Shari L. Nichols, Texas Health and Human Services Commission - Austin, TX

    A discussion of current issues and trends from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
  • 2:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    The 3 As: Accessible, Affordable, and Available Healthcare Resources

    Leah Cohen, arrangeCARE - Austin, TX
    Anna María Méndez, Cadence Bank - Austin, TX
    Tresi Moore Weeks, The Weeks Law Firm - Plano, TX

    Blending choice, private, public, and community resources into obtaining healthcare for our clients continues to be a daunting set of tasks and changes regularly. Explore some examples of the choices clients must make to obtain and maintain their health from the attorney, trustee, and care manager perspectives.
  • 3:35 pm
    Break

  • 3:45 pm
    1.00 hr
    Working with SSA and the Regional Trust Reviewer Teams

    Moderator:
    Pi-Yi Mayo, Law Office of Pi-Yi Mayo - Baytown, TX
    Amanda Flood, U.S. Social Security Administration - Dallas, TX
    Dana Marquez, U.S. Social Security Administration - Dallas, TX

    Hear representatives of SSA’s Regional Trust Reviewer Team walk through the process of Initial Trust Review and subsequent reviews, identify key players and their roles during the process, and take you through the steps to request reopening prior to formal appeal. Plus, gain insight into Regional Counsel Opinions on amending trusts, including some of the most common mistakes reviewers see.
  • 4:45 pm
    0.75 hr
    Special Needs Trusts and the New SSA Trust Review Procedures

    Neal Winston, Winston Law Group, LLC - Somerville, MA

    We may have gotten more than expected when we asked the SSA to better train their representatives to review special needs trusts. Old trusts that have previously passed review are now being retroactively rejected, and every detail of the creation, funding, and administration of an old or new trust must pass strict and sometimes redefined SSA policy interpretations for compliance. In addition, the agency is often not telling us why the trusts are rejected nor how they can be cured. Gain insight into the current state of the advocates' concerns, what to expect, and how best to handle the trust review process.
  • 5:30 pm
    Adjourn to Sponsored Reception

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, Feb. 5, 2016
    Presiding Officer:
    Peyton Taylor, Texas Bankers Association - Austin, TX
  • 7:30 am
    Conference Room Opens

    Includes continental breakfast.
  • 8:00 am
    0.50 hr
    Supported Decision-Making: What the New Law Could Mean for Your Clients

    Tresi Moore Weeks, The Weeks Law Firm - Plano, TX
    Renée C. Lovelace, The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C. - Austin, TX

    A look at recently-enacted Texas Estates Code Chapter 1357, the Supported Decision-Making Agreement Act, with a discussion of the potential benefits as well as the possible concerns or risks that the law introduces.
  • 8:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Legislative Update: The New Landscape in Texas

    Craig Hopper, Hopper Mikeska, PLLC - Austin, TX

    Legislative update, focusing on developments directly affecting trusts and trustees.
  • 9:15 am
    0.75 hr
    Special Needs Trusts and Tax Planning

    Bradley J. Frigon, Law Offices of Bradley J. Frigon - Englewood, CO

    Review the income, gift, and estate tax rules that impact first party and third party special needs trusts, paying particular attention to the Grantor Trust income tax rules, qualified disability trust rules, and designating a first and third party SNT as a beneficiary of a qualified retirement account.
  • 10:00 am
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    IRAs and SNTs: From the Ground Up

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

    Easing into tax issues, understand the differences in “designated” and “mere” beneficiaries, as well as SNT options.
  • 10:30 am
    Break

  • 10:45 am
    0.75 hr
    The Texas ABLE Act: What You Need to Know

    Stephen W. Dale, The Dale Law Firm, PC - Pacheco, CA
    Chris Masey, Coalition of Texans with Disabilities - Austin, TX

    Explore the ABLE Act with illustrations on useful opportunities to combine this type of savings tool with an SNT. Review the recently passed Texas ABLE Act statute with a focus on the opportunities for SNT practitioners to educate their communities on the need for, and the range of, additional estate planning vehicles. Lastly, in light of the Texas ABLE Act providing SNT practitioners with an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate with key disability organizations in Texas on practical implementation and policy issues, hear from a staff member of one of Texas's largest and oldest cross-disability organizations—available to answer questions and to provide practitioners with guidance and opportunities for disability community involvement.
  • 11:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Veteran’s Benefits and SNTs

    Hon. Robert N. Davis, United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims - Washington, DC

    Explore the elaborate system for the award and review of veterans’ benefits under Title 38 of the United States Code and discover how the availability of such benefits ties into planning for the disabled client, including the use of SNTs.
  • 12:15 pm
    Pick Up Lunch

    Included in registration.
  • Friday Afternoon, Feb. 5, 2016
    Presiding Officer:
    Renée C. Lovelace, The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C. - Austin, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:35 pm
    1.00 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Hindsight is 20/20: Getting Families to Spend More Time Planning Ahead

    Moderator:
    Stephen W. Dale, The Dale Law Firm, PC - Pacheco, CA
    Panelists:
    Matthew J. Badders, Frost Bank - San Antonio, TX
    H. Clyde Farrell, Farrell & Pak PLLC - Austin, TX
    Nancy Sosa, Cadence Bank - Austin, TX
    Scott Stebler, Stebler & Sulak, PLLC - Austin, TX

    Denying a request for a distribution is one of the hardest things that counsel and trustees of SNTs deal with regularly. Explore the value of creating a plan (ideally) before the trust is funded—both to manage expectations of the beneficiary and family members, and to avoid unpleasant surprises—and consider strategies for motivating long-term planning for a beneficiary of a third-party trust that will not be funded immediately, usually, in estate planning for the parent(s) of a person with a disability.
  • 1:35 pm
    Break

  • 1:50 pm
    1.00 hr
    Paying Caregivers

    Katherine N. Barr, Sirote & Permutt, P.C. - Birmingham, AL
    Scott Stebler, Stebler & Sulak, PLLC - Austin, TX

    Consider the decisions and details involved when a special needs trust employs caregivers for the beneficiary. Issues discussed include hiring a family member, deciding whether the caregiver is an independent contractor or an employee, withholding of FICA and income taxes, worker's compensation and unemployment taxes, and establishing a formal Caregiver Employment Agreement.
  • 2:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    A Key Player in Winding Up Litigation: The SNT Attorney

    Patricia F. Sitchler, The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler - San Antonio, TX

    Understand the value of consulting with an SNT attorney who works with the personal injury attorney and their clients—explaining the breadth of supplemental security income and Medicaid benefits, the value of an SNT, potential Medicare set‑asides, and structured settlement annuities—in order to avoid unintended consequences and potential loss of government benefits.
  • 3:35 pm
    1.00 hr ethics
    “Yes, I AM Your Client!:" Ethical Issues in SNT Planning

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

    The most important issue for special needs attorneys is not "who is my client," but to recognize "who thinks he is my client." Timing is a key component to the mix. Explore the questions to ask yourself and other parties when accepting a new special needs matter.
  • 4:35 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Matthew J. Badders

Frost Bank
San Antonio, TX

Katherine N. Barr

Sirote & Permutt, P.C.
Birmingham, AL

Leah Cohen

arrangeCARE
Austin, TX

Stephen W. Dale

The Dale Law Firm, PC
Pacheco, CA

Hon. Robert N. Davis

United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
Washington, DC

H. Clyde Farrell

Farrell & Pak PLLC
Austin, TX

Amanda Flood

U.S. Social Security Administration
Dallas, TX

Bradley J. Frigon

Law Offices of Bradley J. Frigon
Englewood, CO

Craig Hopper

Hopper Mikeska, PLLC
Austin, TX

Mary Alice Jackson

Mary Alice Jackson, P.C.
Austin, TX

Christina Lesher

The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC
Houston, TX

Renée C. Lovelace

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

Dana Marquez

U.S. Social Security Administration
Dallas, TX

Chris Masey

Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
Austin, TX

Pi-Yi Mayo

Law Office of Pi-Yi Mayo
Baytown, TX

Anna María Méndez

Cadence Bank
Austin, TX

Rebecca C. Morgan

Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, FL

Shari L. Nichols

Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Austin, TX

Elisa Dillard Rainey

Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law LP
Waco, TX

Craig C. Reaves

Reaves Law Firm, P.C.
Kansas City, MO

Patricia F. Sitchler

The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler
San Antonio, TX

Nancy Sosa

Cadence Bank
Austin, TX

Scott Stebler

Stebler & Sulak, PLLC
Austin, TX

Tresi Moore Weeks

The Weeks Law Firm
Plano, TX

Neal Winston

Winston Law Group, LLC
Somerville, MA

Planning Committee

Renée C. Lovelace—Co-Chair

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

Patricia F. Sitchler—Co-Chair

The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler
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

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

Kristen Porter

Kristen Quinney Porter, LLC
New Braunfels, TX

Nancy Sosa

Cadence Bank
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
This conference has been approved by the American Bankers Association (ABA) Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB) for continuing education credits. Credit approvals are based on the relevance of the program to the ICB's certification exam outline. One credit is awarded for every 50 minutes of relevant instruction. You will receive an ICB Certification Certificate of Completion at the conference for your records. ICB Members self-report these credits at www.icbmembers.org
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 4-5, 2016 – Radisson Hotel and Suites, Austin-Downtown
Conference Concluded
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Austin
Last day for Individual early registration: Jan 27, 2016

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Jan 27, 2016

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Jan 27, 2016

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Jan 29, 2016
Last day for cancellation (partial refund): Feb 1, 2016

$50 processing fee applied

Venue

speaker

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

Accommodations

$189 room rate good through January 4, 2016 (subject to availability).  
Reserve your room online

Parking Information

Daily Self-Parking:  $3
Overnight Self-Parking:  $8
Daily Valet Parking:  $26
 

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