National Conference

Friday, October 20, 2023

8:15 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Welcome and Announcements

8:30 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.

A Judge's SNT Magnifying Glass:  A Checklist Approach
Hon. Ana Maria Luna
Trustees, trust professionals and attorneys are often perplexed as to the handling of their cases by a probate judge.  This session will (i) discuss how and why a judge views and analyzes SNT cases; (ii) identify where court involvement with the SNT often occurs; and (iii)l provide practice tips and practical suggestions for you and your clients to achieve success in making or defending against requests for court orders.

9:20 a.m. - 10:10 a.m

Nontraditional Work and Trust Beneficiaries
Neal Winston, Kenneth Brown, Robert Fechtman, and Dolores Murawski 
Some individuals with special needs have extraordinary artistic talents in the arts and literature, and produce commercially valuable works.  This may result in potential public benefit income and resource eligibility problems and estate recovery.  This panel will discuss the options that advocates and trustees have through the use of special needs trusts and other techniques to protect benefits and recovery.

10:10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Break and Visit with Sponsors and Exhibitors
Sponsored by InterActive Legal

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

CMS Update
Gene Coffey
Back by popular demand with an extended presentation and a breakout session at 1:10pm for Questions and Answers, Mr. Coffey will update us on the PHE unwinding, proposed regulations on projecting non-institutional costs, and so much more news out of Washington.

12:00 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Sponsored by Advocacy Trust

1:10 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Breakout Session 1

  • Q&A with Gene Coffey
    Gene Coffey
    Join Gene Coffey for a 50-minute interactive Q&A session to follow up on his morning session.
  • New HUD Regulations/Strategies for Navigating through HUD Housing Programs 
    Barb Helm, Kevin Rabin, and Deborah Thrope 
    The new HOUSING OPPORTUNITY THROUGH MODERNIZATION ACT (HOTMA) will go into effect on 1/1/2024.  This presentation will explain the new HUD regulations, and provide information, strategies, and scenarios to help understand and navigate through HUD Housing Programs. 
  • What Practitioners Need to Know About AI: Benefits and Liabilities
    Janet Lowder and Mason Clark
    Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming various industries, and the realm of trust planning and special needs trusts is no exception. This session aims to equip practitioners with essential knowledge about AI, including various models (generative v. non-generative), benefits and potential liabilities, and ethical and moral considerations in the context of trust and estate planning. Attendees will gain valuable insights into leveraging AI tools effectively while navigating the associated risks.

2:05 p.m. - 2:55 p.m.

Breakout Session 2

  • Veteran's Benefits: A Forgotten Part of Planning
    Amos Goodall
    This covers both compensation (similar to Social Security Disability) and pension (similar to Supplemental Security Income).  Time permitting, we will discuss upgrading military discharges. There are 6 million beneficiaries receiving compensation (over $100 Billion dollars annually), and over three hundred thousand beneficiaries receiving pension.  It is a sometimes forgotten income source which can pay up to almost $10,000/month, tax free, on an entitlement basis which would go a long way towards paying a beneficiary's nursing home bill.  By the way, $10k is an unusual compensation award, but routine aid and attendance pension payment can often pay the cost of an assisted living stay in a private institution.
  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Adding the Services of a Death Doula to Your Practice
    Brenna Galvin
    This breakout session will explore the unique and valuable service that a Death doula can provide for your clients.  It will discuss how this might be an ancillary service you may want to consider in expanding the services you provide clients. Participants will also learn some of the important business and ethical considerations in including this service.
  • What Practitioners Need to Know About Amending Special Needs Trusts
    Janet Lowder and Elena Lidrbauch
    Ever wondered what to do when your client provides a notice that their client’s special needs trust is now a countable resource?  Does panic set in?  What can be done?  When will my client lose their benefits?  How long will it take to resolve the use?  Come learn who can amend a special needs trust, options for amendment, and how to work around drafting errors.  If you draft special needs trusts, you won’t want to miss this session.

2:55 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Break and Visit with Sponsors and Exhibitors
Sponsored by InterActive Legal

3:10 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Breakout Session 3

  • The Versatile Law Degree: From the Practice of Law to Trust Administration 
    Bridget Swartz
    With a law degree, one is forever an attorney but need not forever (or ever) engage in the practice of law. A law degree is versatile, bestowing on the holder of a juris doctor transferable skills. The engagement in the practice of law provides context and enhances those skills and their transferability. This session will discuss the transition from the practice of law-specifically, elder and/or special needs law-to trust administration, highlighting the appeal of moving from one career to the other. Having moved between both a couple of times, the presenter will discuss lessons learned on both sides of the fence that helped her to be a better lawyer and fiduciary, with an emphasis on when and how to incorporate one’s legal knowledge and experience into trust administration while leaving the attorney hat at the door.
  • Legislative and Regulatory SNT Planning Update
    Marielle Hazen
    Staying informed of the regulatory and legislative changes you need to know as a special needs planning attorney/advocate/trustee can be challenging. Not doing so can be costly. This session will provide an update on important legislative and regulatory changes, including SECURE 2.0, the Public Health Emergency unwinding, the HOTMA final rule, and other hot topics.
  • What SNT Professionals Need to Know About Medicare
    David Lipschutz
    This session will provide a brief overview of the Medicare program, including eligibility and coverage.  The session will also explore trade-offs between choosing Medicare Advantage vs. traditional Medicare, and include a review of some of the barriers to care facing individuals, including implementing the Jimmo settlement addressing the “improvement standard” myth and accessing home health benefits. 

4:10 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Foxes & Henhouses – A Deep Dive Into Potential (and real) Conflicts of Interest and Other Ethical Issus for Trustees of SNTs
Slade Dukes, Will Lucius, Briget Swartz, and Stuart Zimring (moderator)
This panel (and the attendees) will explore some of the obvious and often hidden potential and real conflicts that trustees (whether professional, institutional, family or…) face (or at least need to be aware of).