Overview

The 17th Annual Changes and Trends Affecting Special Needs Trusts virtually 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 virtual program includes:
 
  • An overview of special needs trusts essentials, including information on SNT basics, updates on maximizing public benefits, transfers to pooled trusts, and ABLE updates and basics.
  • SNT Lagniappe – Forms to Support Your SNT Practice.
  • The Masters of SNT—What I Know Now That I Wish I Had Known Back Then.
  • Learn about tax basics of a SNT along with information on planning for the estate tax exemption.
  • Insight on the housing problems and solutions for housing beneficiaries and real estate in trusts.
  • A variety of other SNT topics, including program benefits for family caregivers, guiding family trustees, reporting for trusts, SSI applications process for children and adults, and more.
  • A virtual exhibit hall highlighting the services and products offered by our sponsors and exhibitors.
Following the webcast, attendees will receive a free, on-demand eSupplement that will bring their total available hours to 15.00, including 3.00 hours of ethics.

Event Schedule

Program is subject to change.

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Thursday Morning, Feb. 18, 2021
    Presiding Officer:
    Elisa Dillard Rainey, Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law LP - Waco, TX
  • 8:35 am
    Welcoming Remarks

  • 8:45 am
    1.00 hr
    SNT Basics
    Take a look at special needs trusts and things to consider when selecting the appropriate option. Gain insight on the intersection of trusts with governmental benefits and delve into the types of special needs trust with case examples.

    Molly Abshire, Wright Abshire, Attorneys - Bellaire, TX

  • 9:45 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 9:50 am
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Pooled Trusts: Your Answer to Transfers and Over 65 Strategies 
    Is the size of a trust no longer economically feasible? Are you worried about a transfer of assets penalty? A pooled trust sub-account be a better fit! Discuss transfers from a D4A to a D4C, the authority, the pitfalls and the successes. Solutions for people over 65 who need a self-settled SNT are limited but a pooled trusts and the “half-a-loaf” strategy may be considered as an appropriate option.

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

  • 10:35 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 10:40 am
    1.00 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Maximizing Public Benefits: Basics and Updates
    Medicaid and public benefits basics will be covered as well as the latest updates on Medicaid and public basics changes.

    Christina Lesher, The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC - Houston, TX
    Bryn A. Poland, Mayo & Poland PLLC - Baytown, TX

  • 11:40 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 11:45 am
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    ABLE Updates and Basics
    This session will provide an overview of Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts and their utility in trust administration and planning. Coordination with Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) and short- and long-term planning with ABLE accounts will be reviewed, including facets of distribution mechanisms and public benefits eligibility. The presenters will provide case studies and recent case law as examples of prudent utilization of ABLE accounts.

    Stephen W. Dale, The Dale Law Firm, PC - Pacheco, CA
    Peter J. Wall, True Link Financial - Denver, CO

  • 12:30 pm
    Break for Lunch and Visit Exhibitors—Presentations Resume at 1:00 p.m.

  • Thursday Afternoon, Feb. 18, 2021
    Presiding Officer:
    Chelsea Brown, Texas Bankers Association - Austin, TX
  • 1:00 pm
    0.50 hr
    Reporting a Trust
    Address practical steps in determining when, how, and to whom special needs trusts should be reported.

    Jennifer L. Coulter, Townsend Allala, Coulter & Kludt, PLLC - El Paso, TX

  • 1:30 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 1:35 pm
    0.75 hr
    Case Law and Legislative Update
    An exploration and analysis of recent Texas and national cases and legislation involving special needs trusts.

    John B. Henry III, Law Office of John B. Henry, III, PLLC - Bellaire, TX

  • 2:20 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 2:25 pm
    0.75 hr
    Trustee Bootcamp-Checklists for the New Trustee
    The complexity of trust administration has increased rapidly over the years. While the needs of the beneficiaries have become more complex (complicated families, investments, social media, and changing tax laws), the responsibilities, duties, and liabilities of the trustee have not changed. The presentation includes 12 administrative checklists that a trustee can use to get to a better outcome for the beneficiaries and for the trustee to minimize their liability.

    Dave Folz, Trust Counselor LLC - Dallas, TX

  • 3:10 pm
    15-Minute Break to Visit Exhibitors

  • 3:25 pm
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Paying the Family Caregiver
    With declining tax revenues and increased infection risk, more people will be cared for at home. Finding ways for family members to provide care while not sacrificing their own or other family members' well-being is both necessary and challenging.

    Terry Garrett, The Garrett Law Firm, PLLC - Austin, TX
    Melanie Ibarra, The Garrett Law Firm, PLLC - Austin, TX

  • 3:55 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 4:00 pm
    1.00 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    Housing for Persons with Special Needs - Housing Challenges and Solutions 
    Address a variety of housing options and how special needs trusts can partner with existing government benefit programs to enhance housing opportunities for beneficiaries and an overview of barriers to developing private group homes, identifying alternative residential models, funding, staffing, management issues, trustee as landlord liability issues, TX rental rules and Fair Housing Act. Explore real life examples of residential options that work.

    Moderator:
    Nancy Sosa, Cadence Bank - Austin, TX
    Panelists:
    Kristen Quinney Porter, Kristen Quinney Porter, LLC - New Braunfels, TX
    Theresa M. Varnet, Fletcher Tilton, PC, Worcester, MA - Spain, Spain & Varnet, Chicago, IL

  • 5:00 pm
    Adjourn

  • Time
    Credit
    Subject
    Speaker
  • Friday Morning, Feb. 19, 2021
    Presiding Officer:
    John B. Henry III, Law Office of John B. Henry, III, PLLC - Bellaire, TX
  • 8:30 am
    0.50 hr
    The View from the HHSC
    The speaker will summarize and comment on written responses from the HHSC Legal Services Division to questions posed by the Planning Committee. The agency's paper will also provide an overview of HHSC policies related to SNTs and identify SNT policy changes that occurred in 2020.

    G. Gaye Thompson, Thompson & Tiemann LLP - Austin, TX

  • 9:00 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 9:05 am
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Taxation of Special Needs Trusts from A to Z
    Gain insight into the difference between the taxation of a first party special needs trust and a third party trust. Detail the basics of the taxation of a non-grantor special needs trusts and especially the differences between income for income tax purposes, income for trust accounting purposes and income for government assistance purposes.

    Dennis M. Sandoval, Sandoval Legacy Group, a division of Holstrom, Block and Parke - Riverside, CA

  • 9:50 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 9:55 am
    0.50 hr
    Estate Tax Planning and SNTs
    It is quite possible that the estate tax exemption will be lowered in the near future, which means that we as estate planning attorneys may be doing more estate tax planning for families with children with disabilities. However, many tax planning techniques could be detrimental to children on government benefits. Crummey withdrawal rights and disclaimers, for example, could disqualify them from SSI or Medicaid. Explore how estate tax planning affects benefits eligibility and possible solutions to avoid negative outcomes.

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

  • 10:25 am
    20-Minute Break to Visit Exhibitors

  • 10:45 am
    1.00 hr
    SSA Regional Trust Leads Presentation Regarding SSI Trusts
    A discussion with the Regional Trust Leads on the regional centralization of the SSI trust review business process, including reporting responsibilities, 2020 POMS update, and 2020 case totals. In addition, hear a step-by-step scenario regarding the review of a trust determined countable and available options.

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

  • 11:45 am
    5-Minute Break

  • 11:50 am
    0.50 hr
    SSI Application Process for Children and Adults
    The SSI application process is deceptively simple. However, there are several things applicants should keep in mind to possibly strengthen their claim or at a minimum make the process as efficient as possible. Explore the basics about the SSI process getting a claim started.

    John Driskill, Morgan & Weisbrod, L.L.P. - Houston, TX

  • 12:20 pm
    40-Minute Break for Lunch—Presentations Resume at 1:00 p.m.
    Last chance to visit with our Sponsors in the Virtual Exhibit Hall

  • Friday Afternoon, Feb. 19, 2021
    Presiding Officer:
    Renée C. Lovelace, The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C. - Austin, TX
  • Special Keynote Presentation
    Introduction by Peter J. Wall, Director of Fiduciary Services True Link Financial, Denver, CO.

    Thank you to True Link Financial for support of this session.

  • 1:00 pm
    0.75 hr
    Breaking Barriers from the Viewpoint of Two Leading Disability Rights Advocates
    This presentation will feature Judy Heumann, author of Being Heumann and featured in the award-winning documentary Crip Camp with her guest Liz Weintraub from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Each of these remarkable women have spent much of their lives breaking down commonly accepted barriers experienced by persons with disabilities. This presentation will not only highlight how each of these advocates have overcome challenges in their lives, but also share their insights about how the special needs trust practitioner can assist persons with disabilities to experience a quality of life that many persons without disabilities take for granted.

    Moderator:
    Stephen W. Dale, The Dale Law Firm, PC - Pacheco, CA
    Panelists:
    Judith E. Heumann, International Disability Rights Advocate - Washington, DC
    Liz Weintraub, Association of University Centers on Disabilities - Silver Spring, MD

  • 1:45 pm
    15-Minute Break & Vendor Announcements

  • 2:00 pm
    0.50 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    SNT Lagniappe – Forms to Support Your SNT Practice
    While families expect a well-crafted SNT document from their attorney, providing additional reference documents for families and trustees is a valuable gift your client will appreciate.

    Benecia Flores, Petrosewicz Law Firm, P.C. - Richmond, TX

  • 2:30 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 2:35 pm
    0.75 hr
    0.25 hr ethics
    Masters of SNT—What I Know Now That I Wish I Had Known Back Then
    Four of our most experienced SNT attorneys share what they have learned that they don’t usually talk about on microphones: how they have found the work they love; developed a passion for forms and systems; attracted and selected the best clients; built supportive and inspiring networks; and learned from their mistakes.

    H. Clyde Farrell, Farrell & Johnson PLLC - Austin, TX
    Mary Alice Jackson, Boyer & Boyer P.A. - Sarasota, FL
    Renée C. Lovelace, The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C. - Austin, TX
    Patricia F. Sitchler, The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler - La Vernia, TX

  • 3:20 pm
    5-Minute Break

  • 3:25 pm
    1.00 hr
    0.50 hr ethics
    How to Reduce Fiduciary Litigation Risks
    While no good deed may go unpunished, certainly a trustee who is unconcerned, clueless, unequipped, dishonest or just plain unlucky is likely to be punished. Explore situations where the rights and wants of beneficiaries collide with the powers and responsibilities of trustees.

    Moderator:
    Richard A. Courtney, Courtney Elder Law Associates - Jackson, MS
    Panelists:
    Harry S. Margolis, Margolis & Bloom, LLP - Boston, MA
    Vincent J. Russo, Russo Law Group, P.C. - Long Island and New York City, NY
    Shirley Berger Whitenack, Schenck, Price, Smith & King LLP - Florham Park, NJ

  • 4:25 pm
    Adjourn

Conference Faculty

Molly Abshire

Wright Abshire, Attorneys
Bellaire, TX

Jennifer L. Coulter

Townsend Allala, Coulter & Kludt, PLLC
El Paso, TX

Richard A. Courtney

Courtney Elder Law Associates
Jackson, MS

Stephen W. Dale

The Dale Law Firm, PC
Pacheco, CA

John Driskill

Morgan & Weisbrod, L.L.P.
Houston, TX

H. Clyde Farrell

Farrell & Johnson PLLC
Austin, TX

Amanda Flood

U.S. Social Security Administration
Dallas, TX

Benecia Flores

Petrosewicz Law Firm, P.C.
Richmond, TX

Dave Folz

Trust Counselor LLC
Dallas, TX

Terry Garrett

The Garrett Law Firm, PLLC
Austin, TX

Haley D. Greer

The Arc of Texas
Austin, TX

John B. Henry III

Law Office of John B. Henry, III, PLLC
Bellaire, TX

Judith E. Heumann

International Disability Rights Advocate
Washington, DC

Melanie Ibarra

The Garrett Law Firm, PLLC
Austin, TX

Mary Alice Jackson

Boyer & Boyer P.A.
Sarasota, FL

Christina Lesher

The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC
Houston, TX

Renée C. Lovelace

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

Harry S. Margolis

Margolis & Bloom, LLP
Boston, MA

Dana Marquez

U.S. Social Security Administration
Dallas, TX

Bryn A. Poland

Mayo & Poland PLLC
Baytown, TX

Kristen Quinney Porter

Kristen Quinney Porter, LLC
New Braunfels, TX

Vincent J. Russo

Russo Law Group, P.C.
Long Island and New York City, NY

Dennis M. Sandoval

Sandoval Legacy Group, a division of Holstrom, Block and Parke
Riverside, CA

Patricia F. Sitchler

The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler
La Vernia, TX

Nancy Sosa

Cadence Bank
Austin, TX

G. Gaye Thompson

Thompson & Tiemann LLP
Austin, TX

Theresa M. Varnet

Fletcher Tilton, PC, Worcester, MA
Spain, Spain & Varnet, Chicago, IL

Peter J. Wall

True Link Financial
Denver, CO

Tresi Moore Weeks

The Weeks Law Firm, PLLC
Plano, TX

Liz Weintraub

Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Silver Spring, MD

Shirley Berger Whitenack

Schenck, Price, Smith & King LLP
Florham Park, NJ

Planning Committee

Renée C. Lovelace—Co-Chair

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

Elisa Dillard Rainey—Co-Chair

Rainey & Rainey, Attorneys at Law LP
Waco, TX

April Rogers—Director

The University of Texas School of Law
Austin, TX

Chelsea Brown

Texas Bankers Association
Austin, TX

Leah Cohen

arrangeCARE
Austin, TX

Stephen W. Dale

The Dale Law Firm, PC
Pacheco, CA

Randy Drewett

Randy E. Drewett, P.C.
Beaumont, TX

H. Clyde Farrell

Farrell & Johnson PLLC
Austin, TX

Terry Garrett

The Garrett Law Firm, PLLC
Austin, TX

Haley D. Greer

The Arc of Texas
Austin, TX

Mary Alice Jackson

Boyer & Boyer P.A.
Sarasota, FL

Christina Lesher

The Law Office of Christina Lesher, PC
Houston, TX

Pi-Yi Mayo

Mayo & Poland PLLC
Baytown, TX

Bryn A. Poland

Mayo & Poland PLLC
Baytown, TX

Kristen Quinney Porter

Kristen Quinney Porter, LLC
New Braunfels, TX

Patricia F. Sitchler

The Law Office of Patricia Flora Sitchler
La Vernia, TX

Nancy Sosa

Cadence Bank
Austin, TX

Tresi Moore Weeks

The Weeks Law Firm, PLLC
Plano, TX

Credit Info

MCLE Credit
UT Law CLE will report credit to the State Bar of Texas on your behalf. If you are claiming credit in the last week of your birth month, self-report your credit directly to the State Bar of Texas at texasbar.com. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
Self-report your CLE credit directly to the State Bar of California at calbar.ca.gov. Print and keep the Certificate of Completion for your records. A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you upon claiming credit.
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #169) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and are presumptively approved by the Oklahoma Bar Association for MCLE credit based on a 50-minute credit hour. This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Oklahoma MCLE credit, Oklahoma credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. UT Law CLE will report credit on your behalf to the Oklahoma Bar Association within 30 days after the webcast.
UT Law CLE is an approved provider of Pennsylvania credit, sponsor #236. Attorney attendance will be reported to Pennsylvania within 2 weeks of the webcast conclusion. Attorneys are not able to report this credit on their own, and UT Law CLE pays all associated fees for the credit hours. Contact Laura Tolin, ltolin@law.utexas.edu, if you have additional questions.
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 to ensure it will qualify for self-reporting your credits.

To claim Other States MCLE credit, Other States credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you.

This accreditation requires attendance verification. UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion .

MCLE credit is presented based on a 60-minute credit hour.
Other Credit
No Additional Credit Information.
The University of Texas School of Law (Provider #250) live webcast presentations meet the requirements and 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.

This accreditation requires attendance verification. In compliance with the rules, UT Law CLE monitors and records attendee responses to questions that randomly appear during the live webcast presentation. The response record is detailed on the Certificate of Completion.

To claim Texas Accounting CPE credit, the Texas Accounting CPE credit option must be selected PRIOR to viewing the live webcast. Upon claiming credit, a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to you. Self-report your CPE credit directly to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.

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

Key Dates

Live Webcast – Feb 18-19, 2021
Register now
Live Webcast
Last day for Individual early registration: Feb 18, 2021

Add $0 for registrations received after this time

Last day for cancellation (full refund): Feb 12, 2021

$50 processing fee applied after this date

Last day for cancellation: Feb 15, 2021

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