About

The 15th 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:

  • An overview of special needs trusts, including an examination of different types of SNTs—third-party, self-settled, and sole benefit SNTs—and their potential uses and benefits.
  • Case law and legislative updates.
  • A special presentation from the SSA’s Regional Trust Leads with must-have insight on the review process; plus tips on submitting your trust review for approval and avoiding the appeal.
  • Considerations and best practices in working with ABLE programs across the country.
  • Discussion on the increasing importance of preparing Medicaid assessments and appeals, and advice for navigating that process.
  • An examination of trustee obligations and best practices, including an opportunity to ask your questions during an “Ask the Experts” portion of the panel.
  • A variety of other SNT essentials, including trust reformation do’s and don’ts, divorce actions and SNTs, understanding SSI work incentive programs and CLASS, and more.
Earn up to 15.00 hours of Texas MCLE credit, with 3.25 hours of ethics. Plus, interact with program faculty, colleagues, and exhibitors at the Thursday Evening Reception.

Event Schedule

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Thursday Morning, Feb. 7, 2019
    Presiding Officer:
    Patricia F. Sitchler, The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler - La Vernia, TX
  • 8:00 am
    Registration Opens

    Includes continental breakfast. 
  • 8:35 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 8:45 am
    1.00 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Maximizing Public Benefits

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

    Make note of top tips for establishing and maintaining public benefits, especially SSI, Medicaid, Medicare Savings Programs, Disabled Adult Child; and an update on the latest and greatest recent changes in public benefits.
  • 9:45 am
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Special Needs Trusts Overview and Third-Party SNTs

    Randy Drewett, Attorney at Law - Beaumont, 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. Special emphasis is given to how Third-Party SNTs are utilized in both lifetime and testamentary estate planning.
  • 10:30 am
    Break

  • 10:45 am
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Self-Settled SNTs

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

    Balancing the needs and managing the expectations of beneficiaries, courts, trustees, personal injury attorneys, ad litems and beneficiaries’ families, all while meeting the requirements of the Social Security Administration and HHSC can be a monumental task. Gain insight in the complexities of drafting self-settled trusts and navigating the relationships of the parties involved. 
  • 11:30 am
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    The (c)(2)(B)(iii) Sole Benefit SNT

    Marilyn G. Miller, Marilyn G. Miller, Attorney at Law - Dripping Springs, TX

    Discuss what to look for when using this “cousin” of the (d)(4)(A) trust for sanction-free Medicaid transfer planning.
  • 12:00 pm
    Pick Up Lunch

    Included in registration. 
  • Thursday Afternoon, Feb. 7, 2019
    Presiding Officer:
    Terry Lynn Garrett, The Garrett Law Firm, PLLC - Austin, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    30 More Apps in 30 Minutes

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

    Hear an updated survey of new, useful apps, and tech tips for lawyers, trust officers, and caregivers.
  • 12:50 pm
    Break

  • 1:05 pm
    0.50 hr
    Pooled Trusts: A Creative Solution for Thorny Problems

    Haley D. Greer, The Arc of Texas - Austin, TX

    Situations come up where a traditional special needs trust isn’t the best option and Pooled Trusts can provide a beneficial alternative. Not sure if there is a trustee available? Too much for an ABLE account? No viable family members available to serve? Pooled Trusts can serve as a your solution! Learn about the creative solutions The Arc of Texas and other pooled trusts can provide.
  • 1:35 pm
    0.75 hr
    Case Law and Legislative Update

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

    An analysis of recent Texas, regional, and national cases involving special needs trusts.
  • 2:20 pm
    0.50 hr
    A View from the HHSC

    Shari L. Nichols, Texas Health and Human Services Commission - Austin, TX
    Leslea Tate Pickle, Texas Department of Health and Human Services - Austin, TX

    A discussion of current issues and trends from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
  • 2:50 pm
    Break

  • 3:00 pm
    1.00 hr
    SNT Practitioner and ABLE Programs: Working Together

    Moderator:
    Tresi Weeks, The Weeks Law Firm, PLLC - Plano, TX
    Panelists:
    Stephen W. Dale, The Dale Law Firm, PC - Pacheco, CA
    Linda Fernandez, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts - Austin, TX
    Doug Jackson, STABLE Accounts - Columbus, OH

    With many ABLE programs now available across the nation, how does an SNT Practitioner know which one(s) to work with and how to gain the best advantages for you and your client? Hear the perspectives of ABLE experts as they answer questions about the considerations and best practices for SNTs and ABLE plans to work together.
  • 4:00 pm
    0.50 hr
    Trust Reformation in Texas: The Do's and Don'ts, Hows and Whys, Whens and When Nots for Trust Reformation

    Bryn A. Poland, Mayo & Poland PLLC - Baytown, TX

    Confusion abounds about the differences between trust modification, trust amendment, and trust reformation. Learn about trust reformation, how to do it, and when to do it.
  • 4:30 pm
    1.00 hr
    Medicaid Appeals

    Moderator:
    Christina Lesher, The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC - Houston, TX
    Panelists:
    Peter Thomas Hofer, Disability Rights Texas - Austin, TX
    Hannah Mehta, Protect Texas Fragile Kids - Dallas, TX

    Medicaid has gone to managed care for medically fragile children and adults over the age of 21. This change in how services are delivered impact how our clients access care, and their ability to qualify medically for the benefits. Hear a discussion of denials based on medical necessity, and learn how practitioners can prepare their clients for assessments and appeals.
  • 5:30 pm
    Adjourn to 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. 8, 2019
    Presiding Officer:
    Peyton Taylor, Texas Bankers Association - Austin, TX
  • 8:00 am
    Conference Room Opens

    Includes continental breakfast. 
  • 8:15 am
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Supplemental Security Income: It’s All About Work!

    Sara Kendall, Texas Workforce Commission - Vocational Rehabilitation Division - Austin, TX
    Commentator:
    Patricia F. Sitchler, The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler - La Vernia, TX

    The amount of SSI one receives when working is determined by a formula, and Medicaid continues until a recipient earns significant income.  Understanding the work incentive programs associated with SSI that allow the recipient informed choice about how to manage employment opportunities, SSA disability cash, and medical benefits lead to successful employment outcomes.
  • 9:00 am
    0.50 hr
    The Working Medicaid Waiver Recipient (CLASS)

    Nehtra Davis, Texas Health and Human Services Commission - Austin, TX
    Commentator:
    Patricia F. Sitchler, The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler - La Vernia, TX

    There are times when an individual may have CLASS but not SSI. Explore the ways to work in the workforce while maintaining CLASS eligibility.
  • 9:30 am
    0.75 hr
    A Walk through the POMS: Section by Section Updates

    Stephen W. Dale, The Dale Law Firm, PC - Pacheco, CA
    Renée C. Lovelace, The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C. - Austin, TX

    Review and explore how to search for specific issues in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Program Operations Manual System (POMS), which is the operational reference used by SSA staff to conduct SSA's daily business. The presentation will also examine the POMS that are specific to special needs trusts, with a special focus on recent revisions that were issued March of 2018.
  • 10:15 am
    Break

  • 10:30 am
    1.00 hr
    SSA Regional Trust Leads Presentation Regarding SSI Trusts

    Amanda Flood, U.S. Social Security Administration - Dallas, TX
    Dana Marquez, U.S. Social Security Administration - Dallas, TX

    A discussion with the Regional Trust Leads on the regional centralization of the SSI trust review business process, including the effect of updated trust policy on trust reviews. In addition, hear about the types of trust cases that require second-level review, drafting errors, and statistics regarding the number of trust cases SSA processes.
  • 11:30 am
    0.75 hr
    Working with SSA: Tips on How to Avoid the Appeal

    Pi-Yi Mayo, Mayo & Poland PLLC - Baytown, TX

    Gain tips on how to submit your trust for review so that you can get it approved and avoid a need for an appeal.
  • 12:15 pm
    Pick Up Lunch

    Included in registration.
  • Friday Afternoon, Feb. 8, 2019
    Presiding Officer:
    Renée C. Lovelace, The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C. - Austin, TX
  • LUNCHEON PRESENTATION
  • 12:35 pm
    0.75 hr ethics
    Outstanding Debts vs. Medicaid Payback: Does Death Kill the Debt?

    Scott Stebler, Stebler & Sulak, PLLC - Austin, TX
    Co-Author:
    Sarah Sulak, Stebler & Sulak, PLLC - Austin, TX

    Discuss how a trustee should handle a variety of claims, debts, or expenses of the trust, or of the deceased beneficiary, before Medicaid payback. Can a trustee pay for funeral expenses, outstanding caregiving expenses, legal expenses, reimbursements to family members, etc. before reimbursing state Medicaid agencies, or does Medicaid reimbursement trump all?
  • 1:20 pm
    Break and Vendor Annoucements

  • 1:50 pm
    1.00 hr
    Divorce Actions and SNTs

    Mary Alice Jackson, Mary Alice Jackson, P.C. - Austin, TX
    Keith D. Maples, Noelke Maples St. Leger Bryant, LLP - Austin, TX

    Explore what to expect when counseling clients and/or their children with disabilities when parents’ divorce, and when alimony or child support awards place public benefits in jeopardy. What do the courts think? What are the SSA rules?
  • 2:50 pm
    0.75 hr ethics
    SNT Trustee Obligations and Trust Administration Best Practices

    Peter J. Wall, True Link Financial - Denver, CO

    Discuss the challenges facing fiduciaries when navigating complex public benefits issues and regulatory oversight. “Best practice” tips that will assist with managing SNT beneficiary expectations while simultaneously limiting professional liability and providing the utmost in service to clients with disabilities will also be provided.
  • 3:35 pm
    1.00 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Ask the Experts: Trustee Obligations and Administration

    Moderator:
    Nancy Sosa, Cadence Bank - Austin, TX
    David Estes, Texas Regional Bank - McAllen, TX
    Panelists:
    Haley D. Greer, The Arc of Texas - Austin, TX
    Peter J. Wall, True Link Financial - Denver, CO

    Trustees, bring your questions because the experts will be addressing concerns about Trustee obligations and administrations issues while administering a trust.
  • 4:35 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

Nehtra Davis

Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Austin, TX

Randy Drewett

Attorney at Law
Beaumont, TX

David Estes

Texas Regional Bank
McAllen, TX

H. Clyde Farrell

Farrell, Burdett & Johnson PLLC
Austin, TX

Linda Fernandez

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Austin, TX

Amanda Flood

U.S. Social Security Administration
Dallas, TX

Haley D. Greer

The Arc of Texas
Austin, TX

Peter Thomas Hofer

Disability Rights Texas
Austin, TX

Doug Jackson

STABLE Accounts
Columbus, OH

Mary Alice Jackson

Mary Alice Jackson, P.C.
Austin, TX

Sara Kendall

Texas Workforce Commission - Vocational Rehabilitation Division
Austin, 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 Maples St. Leger Bryant, LLP
Austin, TX

Dana Marquez

U.S. Social Security Administration
Dallas, TX

Pi-Yi Mayo

Mayo & Poland PLLC
Baytown, TX

Hannah Mehta

Protect Texas Fragile Kids
Dallas, TX

Marilyn G. Miller

Marilyn G. Miller, Attorney at Law
Dripping Springs, TX

Shari L. Nichols

Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Austin, TX

Leslea Tate Pickle

Texas Department of Health and Human Services
Austin, TX

Bryn A. Poland

Mayo & Poland PLLC
Baytown, TX

Elisa Dillard Rainey

Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law LP
Waco, TX

Patricia F. Sitchler

The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler
La Vernia, TX

Nancy Sosa

Cadence Bank
Austin, TX

Scott Stebler

Stebler & Sulak, PLLC
Austin, TX

Sarah Sulak

Stebler & Sulak, PLLC
Austin, TX

Peter J. Wall

True Link Financial
Denver, CO

Tresi Weeks

The Weeks Law Firm, PLLC
Plano, TX

Planning Committee

Patricia F. Sitchler—Co-Chair

The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler
La Vernia, TX

Renée C. Lovelace—Co-Chair

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

Joanna Jefferson—Director

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, 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, Burdett & Johnson PLLC
Austin, TX

Terry Lynn Garrett

The Garrett Law Firm, PLLC
Austin, TX

Haley D. Greer

The Arc of Texas
Austin, TX

Mary Alice Jackson

Mary Alice Jackson, P.C.
Austin, TX

Christina Lesher

The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC
Houston, TX

Pi-Yi Mayo

Mayo & Poland PLLC
Baytown, TX

Elisa Dillard Rainey

Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law LP
Waco, TX

Nancy Sosa

Cadence Bank
Austin, TX

Peyton Taylor

Texas Bankers Association
Austin, TX

Tresi Weeks

The Weeks Law Firm, PLLC
Plano, 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.
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live conferences are presumptively approved by The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for Texas Accounting CPE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. Approved for general CPE credit only.

At the conference, you will need to sign in on the Accounting CPE Record of Attendance form at the registration desk. You will receive a Texas Accounting Certificate of Completion at the conference for your records. Self-report your CPE credit directly to TSBPA. UT Law CLE will maintain Attendance Records for four years.  

Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.

Key Dates

Austin – Feb 7-8, 2019 – DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Austin
Conference Concluded
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Austin
Last day for Individual early registration: Jan 30, 2019

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (5 registrants minimum) early registration: Jan 30, 2019

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for Group (10 registrants minimum) early registration: Jan 30, 2019

Add $50 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Feb 1, 2019
Last day for cancellation (partial refund): Feb 4, 2019

$50 processing fee applied

Venue

speaker

6505 N. Interstate 35
Austin, TX 78752-4346
512-454-3737
800-866-3126 (reservations)
Map

Accommodations

$169 room rate good through January 16, 2019 (subject to availability). 

Book your room online here or call the reservations department at 1-800-866-3126 and reference the group code "SNT". The online link and group code will be active until the room block is full or the cutoff date of 01/16/2019, whichever comes first. 

Parking Information

Daily or Overnight Self-parking: $8 
Valet Parking: $18

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