Pooled Trusts Intensive

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.

Welcome and Announcements

8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Bringing your Pooled Trust to the Next Level  
Kevin Hayde and Ellen Nalven
Pooled Trust organizations are diverse in nature; they vary widely in structure, size, operations, administration, and services offered beyond Special Needs Trust administration. The National Pooled Trust Standards Committee established Guidelines for Pooled Trusts as aspirational standards and recommend that members and others use them to guide organizational growth, development and best practices. This seminar will suggest how to apply the Guidelines for Pooled Trusts and help participants use these guidelines as a base for identifying areas to elevate their pooled special needs trust organization. A pooled trust program’s mission and primary purpose should be service to people with disabilities, adherence to its fiduciary duties and the to the purposes, rules and regulations governing Special Needs Trusts. We will review this in relation to the topic of integrity, as well as best practices in achieving non-profit status, competence of staff and board, policies / internal operations / financial integrity, individualized and person-centered practices, trust creation transparency, distributions to beneficiaries from pooled trust accounts, investments, fees/expenses, and retained funds. The goal is to improve the nature and quality of pooled trust program services for its constituents. Guidelines will be made available at the session. 

9:15 a.m. - 10:05 a.m.

SECURE Act 2.0 - IRA Administration
Peter Wall and Bradley Frigon
Thanks to unique provisions for people with disabilities created by the SECURE Act, SNT and PSNT trustees have an amazing opportunity to manage inherited IRAs for their beneficiaries, potentially extending the longevity of a beneficiary's trust resources and avoiding onerous tax consequences. That being said, IRA administration can be tricky!  In this session, nationally recognized speakers Bradley J Frigon and Peter J Wall will cover not only the SECURE Act basics, but also provide best practice tips for administration, IRA funding and management, decedent complications, IRS deadlines, tax consequences, and Required Minimum Distributions. 

10:05 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.

Break and Visit with Sponsors and Exhibitors
Sponsored by Special Needs Alliance

10:20 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Discretionary Distributions in Today’s Political Climate 
Megan Brand and Kerry Tedford-Coles
Using your discretion as a trustee is already a challenge, but today’s political climate adds another layer of complexity. This session will discuss hot button topics that may befall a trustee of a special needs trust and how to gently manage the decisions along with the difficult conversations with the beneficiary, their support network and your staff.

11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Post COVID Issues – Change in Employment Landscape,  Housing Pressures, and Medicaid Recertifications 
Steve Dale, Barb Helm, and Yolanda Mazyck  
This presentation will focus on changes in the employment landscape for Pooled Trusts and service providers, The presenters will also discuss housing pressures and Medicaid recertifications, post COVID.

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Sponsored by FND Trust Services

1:15 p.m. - 2:05 p.m.

Breakout Session 1

  • Making a House a Home for People with Disabilities
    Mark Zdrojewski
    A home does not need to look “institutional” to provide a safe living environment for a person living with a disability or aging in place. We will present a case study for upgrading a home and reasons why this makes sense for individuals with limitations.

  • How to Talk with Beneficiaries in a Volitle Market
    Peter Wall, Kevin Hayde, and Bryan Kreitzberg 
    Trustees and PSNT administrators have probably taken more investment related calls from beneficiaries during the past three years than ever before.  Starting in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing through the highs of 2021 and lows of 2022 - many beneficiaries have experienced market volatility for the first time, especially following a decade of low volatility and positive results in financial markets.  This presentation will cover common beneficiary questions like: “Why am I invested?”, “Should we liquidate the investments to avoid losses?”, “How are investment decisions made?”, and more.  We will examine these questions from both the perspective of the investment advisor and trustee, providing best practice tips and layman explanations that can be utilized within an organization or shared with the beneficiaries they serve.  

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

Breakout Session 2

  • Home and Vehicle Ownership by a Trust
    Anna Sappington and Shirley Whitenack
    While real estate and vehicle purchases can provide SNT beneficiaries greater stability, resilience, and independence, they pose significant risks for SNT trustees. Beyond the nuts and bolts of how these purchases are accomplished, we’ll discuss best practices for considering whether to make them, and how to properly document the rationale for your decision. Common issues such as sustainability, cohabitants and drivers, access, and lien recovery also will be discussed. Come share your battle stories and learn from others’ experiences as we discuss the tough issues that come up in these cases.

  • Working with Beneficiaries with Mental Illness
    Steve Dale and Heather Fisher
    This session will review methods and challenges when working with beneficiaries with a mental illness.  We will look closely at the different types of cases that present themselves for both the attorney and the fiduciary such as special needs trusts, conservatorship of the person, LPS conservatorship and case management.  We will review the intake process, common diagnoses, and treatment planning.  Working with this population often poses a unique challenge for the attorney, trustee, clinician and family so we will address ways to handle some of the difficult issues. 

3:00 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.

Break and Visit with Sponsors and Exhibitors
Sponsored by Special Needs Alliance

3:20 p.m. - 4:10 p.m.

Breakout Session 3

  • Course-Correcting the Complex Beneficiary
    Yolanda Mazyck
    We all agree that serving as fiduciaries can be challenging; however, serving as a fiduciary for a beneficiary with co-occurring disorders may sometimes feel insurmountable, often leaving our teams frustrated and defeated. This presentation will discuss basic course-correcting options specific to the manifested behaviors we consistently engage in our practices that may reduce staff burn-out and enhance beneficiary/trustee relations. 

  • Understanding Other “Languages”: Cross-Position Communication 
    Heidi Flatt and Haley Greer
    Discuss with us the daily challenge of communication across departments, positions, and with external parties.  Positions across your organization may or may not understand what folks in other positions do, their language or their needs.  Based on your position and background your language may not translate easily. Come discover tips, tricks and tools to understand other languages across your organization and communicate effectively. 

4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Call to Action/Legislative Update
Kerry Tedford-Coles (moderator), David Goldfarb, Marielle Hazen, Roxanne Chang, and Barb Helm
Staying current with legislative, regulatory and policy updates is challenging; not doing so can be costly. This session will review important legislative, regulatory, and policy updates trustees need to know, and provide an overview of proposed changes and areas where advocacy is needed.