About

The 13th 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:
  • Essentials for special needs trusts decision-making, including a practical “decision tree” analysis for determining the need for and type of SNT from Craig. C. Reaves, plus the fundamental rules for protecting your client’s eligibility for SSI and Medicaid
  • 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
  • Strategies and best practices for maintaining SSI eligibility once an SNT is created with Patricia F. Sitchler and Nancy Sosa
  • Practical applications and case studies demonstrating the use of ABLE Accounts and special needs trusts from Stephen W. Dale
  • A HIPAA Compliance Survival Guide to protect you and your practice from fines and penalties after the expansion of Texas House Bill 300
  • Tips and challenges in planning for the crowdfunding beneficiary from Mary Alice Jackson
  • Supported Decision-Making Agreements and understanding key issues and pitfalls in representing parties using these agreements
  • Current issues and trends from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
  • Discussion on a variety of other SNT essentials, including Decanting and SNTs; SNT Modification and Reformations; and more
  • An interactive presentation on the Ethics of Joint Representation with Rebecca C. Morgan
  • 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. 9, 2017
    Presiding Officer:
    Renée C. Lovelace, The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C. - Austin, TX
  • 9:30 am
    Registration Opens

    Includes light refreshments.
  • 10:20 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 10:30 am
    1.00 hr
    Special Needs Trusts: Decision Tree Analysis

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

    Learn how to utilize a decision tree approach to ask and answer key questions concerning a client's need for a special needs trust, and if one is needed, which type of special needs trust is the best choice. 
  • 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

    Review 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. Hear an update on recent SSI developments with a focus on trust policy; and an introduction to other important means tested benefits, including Medicaid waiver programs.
  • 12:30 pm
    Pick Up Lunch

    Included in registration.
  • Thursday Afternoon, Feb. 9, 2017
    Presiding Officer:
    Renée C. Lovelace, The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C. - Austin, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:50 pm
    0.75 hr ethics
    Ethical Issues in Joint Representation

    Rebecca C. Morgan, Stetson University College of Law - Gulfport, FL

    In this interactive presentation, examine the ethical issues that occur with multiple clients. Through hypothetical scenarios, learn how to spot issues and determine a resolution with client identification, conflicts of interest, and clients with diminished capacity.
  • 1:35 pm
    Break

  • 1:50 pm
    0.50 hr
    Property Code vs. Estates Code: Which is Appropriate When Creating Your SNT?

    Holly J. Gilman, Gilman & Associates, P.C. - Austin, TX

  • 2:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    Court Accountings for Trusts Established Under Chapter 1301 of the Texas Estates Code

    Scott Stebler, Stebler & Sulak, PLLC - Austin, TX
    Sarah Sulak, Stebler & Sulak, PLLC - Austin, TX

    Trusts established under Chapter 1301 of the Texas Estates Code generally require the filing of court accountings “in the same manner and form that is required of a guardian of the estate.” Understand the basic requirements of such accountings, including both annual and final accountings, as well as when to seek court permission in advance for unusual or large disbursements, rather than surprising the court at the time of the accounting. Are there situations where a court accounting is not required on a 1301 Trust? Is the cost and hassle of a court accounting a reason to consider alternatives to a 1301 Trust? And are there things that a trustee can do to make the court accounting process proceed in a cost-efficient and timely manner? 
  • 2:50 pm
    0.75 hr
    Maintaining SSI Eligibility Once the SNT is Created

    Patricia F. Sitchler, The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler - La Vernia, TX
    Nancy Sosa, Cadence Bank - Austin, TX

    Mission control: We have a trust!  And the beneficiary has certain disabilities. How do you maintain eligibility and still provide quality of life distributions? Explore best practices and strategies for you and your client, including an initial meeting to set goals and control expectations, documenting the file with court orders and agency correspondence regarding payment of subrogation liens, obtaining a copy of the notice of change of circumstance (e.g., existence of a trust) that was filed with the relevant agencies, tips for establishing “safety nets” prior to reporting, sample notice language, potential distributions, and much more.  
  • 3:35 pm
    Break

    Sponsored by American National Bank of Texas
  • 3:45 pm
    0.50 hr
    SSA Ethical Rules: Mountains or Molehills

    Constance R. Somers, Law Office Of Constance Somers - San Antonio, TX

    Hear a discussion on the Social Security Administration's real-life approach to whether fee approval is needed for preparing SNTs (a molehill) and whether trustees can pay family members to care for their beneficiaries (a mountain).
  • 4:15 pm
    0.50 hr
    View from HHSC

    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.
  • 4:45 pm
    0.50 hr ethics
    A HIPAA Compliance Guide

    Aleida Villarreal, Law Office of Aleida A. Villarreal - San Antonio, TX

    Texas House Bill 300 expands the definition of “a covered entity” to any person who comes into possession of protected health information. Review the top issues and problems in previous investigated cases and explore the corrective actions taken to avoid fines and penalties from the Department of Justice and/or the Texas Attorney General’s Office.  
  • 5:15 pm
    Adjourn to Sponsored Reception

    Join program faculty and attendees for drinks and hors d'oeuvres.

    Thank You to Our Reception Sponsor
    Frost Wealth Advisors
  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, Feb. 10, 2017
    Presiding Officer:
    Peyton Taylor, Texas Bankers Association - Austin, TX
  • 7:30 am
    Conference Room Opens

    Includes continental breakfast.
  • 8:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Case Law Update

    Elisa Dillard Rainey, Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law LP - Waco, TX

    Review significant cases from the past year, including trends represented in those cases and suggestions for attorneys working with special needs clients.
  • 9:15 am
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Representing Parties in Supported Decision-Making Agreements

    Tresi Moore Weeks, The Weeks Law Firm - Plano, TX
    Richard Lavallo, Disability Rights Texas - Austin, TX

    Hear about practical issues attorneys and individuals face when using the new Supported Decision-Making Agreement as an alternative to guardianship. Learn about the types of clients who have not only signed but used a Supported Decision-Making Agreement (“SDMA”), and in what situations SDMA’s worked or did not work. Explore ideas about using the SDMA to deal with third parties, and what releases may enhance third parties’ cooperation. Review ethical issues, such as identifying the client, determining client capacity, and whether the supporter owes a fiduciary duty toward the individual with disabilities.
  • 10:00 am
    Break

    Sponsored by Bank of Texas
  • 10:15 am
    1.00 hr
    Getting It from the Source: SSA Regional Trust Lead Presentation Regarding SSI Trusts 

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

    A discussion with the Regional Trust Lead on the regional centralization of the SSI trust review process, including key players and their roles and the handling of reopenings and appeals. Plus, hear the newest developments in the review of SNTs, including the latest policy clarifications regarding trusts and manual notices, and the 90-day amendment period with a regional chief counsel opinion.  
  • 11:15 am
    1.00 hr
    Working with SSA Part II: Updates, Practice Tips, and More

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

    The Social Security Administration continues to implement changes to its trust review program and controls on the administration of Special Needs Trusts when SSI is involved. Hear tips on communicating with the SSA, the latest policy changes, techniques for avoiding problems, and what we should expect in the future.
  • 12:15 pm
    Pick Up Lunch

    Included in registration.
  • Friday Afternoon, Feb. 10, 2017
    Presiding Officer:
    Patricia F. Sitchler, The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler - La Vernia, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:35 pm
    0.75 hr
    Advising and Distribution Plans

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

    Explore how creating a distribution plan for a special needs trust can be a good tool to coordinate the activities of the SNT management team. Discuss the advantages of offering distribution advisement services, which can be a good source of sustainable revenue, and can assist the law firm to better serve the beneficiary in identifying problems before they happen and acting quickly to minimize disruption of benefit eligibility if threatened.
  • 1:20 pm
    Break

  • 1:35 pm
    0.75 hr
    Decanting and SNTs

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

    The trust instrument actually governing administration in a particular instance may be less than ideal. Whether it is important to add specific “special needs” provisions, or to limit trustee discretion, or to provide for trustee succession—or any of a host of other changes that need to be considered—decanting, trust modification, and trust reform are often helpful concepts to master and apply capably.
  • 2:20 pm
    0.75 hr
    Crowdfunding: Manna from Heaven, or Disaster in the Making?

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

    The road to ineligibility is paved with good intentions. Crowdfunding sites (GoFundMe, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, to name a few) gather thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for people in distress, including those with disabilities. What happens when public benefits are involved? How can SNT attorneys pre-plan or crisis plan for beneficiaries—and can SNTs play a role? ABLE accounts? Discuss our latest challenge:  planning for the crowdfunding beneficiary.
  • 3:05 pm
    0.50 hr
    ABLE: Practical Applications

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

    ABLE Accounts are now available across the country. Through a series of case studies, review the advantages of this new tool and how it can work with a special needs trust, and learn how to use this new tool to better serve the beneficiary and enhance the special needs trust practice. Plus, explore how to partner with disability organizations and provide education in their communities about both ABLE Accounts and special needs trusts. 
  • 3:35 pm
    Break

    Sponsored by Bank of Texas
  • 3:45 pm
    0.50 hr
    Transitioning the Adult Disabled Child

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

    Understand the use of the Pickle Amendment for an adult disabled child to obtain medicaid benefits.
  • 4:15 pm
    0.50 hr ethics
    Identifying Financial Exploitation

    Leah Cohen, arrangeCARE - Austin, TX
    Michael J. Curran, Michael Curran, PC - Austin, TX

    Financial scams are getting more sophisticated every year. Strangers, caregivers, and even family members sometimes target the accounts of people with cognitive impairments. Learn how to identify financial exploitation and options to prevent it.
  • 4:45 pm
    0.50 hr
    SNT Modifications and Reformations

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

    Discuss the objective of avoiding SNT modifications when possible, the reasons why modifications or reformations promote a trust grantor’s intent, and how an attorney should proceed with the analysis and steps.
  • 5:15 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Leah Cohen

arrangeCARE
Austin, TX

Michael J. Curran

Michael Curran, PC
Austin, TX

Stephen W. Dale

The Dale Law Firm, PC
Pacheco, CA

H. Clyde Farrell

Farrell & Pak PLLC
Austin, TX

Robert B. Fleming

Fleming & Curti, PLC
Tucson, AZ

Amanda Flood

U.S. Social Security Administration
Dallas, TX

Holly J. Gilman

Gilman & Associates, P.C.
Austin, TX

Mary Alice Jackson

Mary Alice Jackson, P.C.
Austin, TX

Richard Lavallo

Disability Rights Texas
Austin, TX

Christina Lesher

The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC
Houston, TX

Renée C. Lovelace

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

Pi-Yi Mayo

Law Office of Pi-Yi Mayo
Baytown, TX

Rebecca C. Morgan

Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, FL

Shari L. Nichols

Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Austin, TX

Bryn A. Poland

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

Constance R. Somers

Law Office Of Constance Somers
San Antonio, TX

Nancy Sosa

Cadence Bank
Austin, TX

Scott Stebler

Stebler & Sulak, PLLC
Austin, TX

Sarah Sulak

Stebler & Sulak, PLLC
Austin, TX

Aleida Villarreal

Law Office of Aleida A. Villarreal
San Antonio, 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
La Vernia, 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 Quinney 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 9-10, 2017 – Radisson Hotel and Suites, Austin-Downtown
Conference Concluded
Buy
Austin
Last day for Individual early registration: Feb 8, 2017

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Feb 8, 2017

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Feb 8, 2017

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Feb 3, 2017
Last day for cancellation (partial refund): Feb 6, 2017

$50 processing fee applied

Venue

speaker

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

Accommodations

$199 room rate good through January 9, 2017 (subject to availability).  
Reserve your room online

Parking Information

Daily Self-Parking:  $4
Overnight Self-Parking:  $10
Daily Valet Parking:  $26

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