National Conference

Thursday, October 19, 2023

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Welcome and Announcements and TEAM Introduction
Professor Roberta Flowers and Rachel Green (TEAM)

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

The ABCs of AMBTs 
Craig Reaves
Applicable Multi-Beneficiary Trusts (AMBTs) are a gift from the SECURE Act that allows someone who is sufficiently disabled or chronically ill to hold an inherited IRA in trust and stretch the required minimum distributions out over their life expectancy.  The proposed IRS regulations clarified some questions and SECURE 2.0 made AMBTs even more flexible.  This session will explore both types of AMBTs and describe how they can be used when leaving an IRA to a trust for a person who qualifies for this special treatment.

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

Unmasking Ageism and Ableism: The Path to a New Image of Aging 
Dr. Tracey Gendron
This presentation translates decades of research on age discrimination into actionable steps on overcoming ageism and ableism both personally and professionally. Participants will learn to recognize and understand the forces that have created the present to craft a purposeful path to a better future. This presentation will discuss the factors contributing to our beliefs and misconceptions about aging and ability. To create an age-inclusive world a new image of aging is needed to disrupt ageist and ableist thought and behavior within ourselves, communities, policy, and culture.

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

Break and Visit with Sponsors and Exhibitors
Sponsored by MassMutual SpecialCare

10:30 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

It Is Not Just the Trust: There are Many Other Factors to Consider
Amanda Flood
There are other factors you must consider regarding an SSI trust.  Do you know the reporting responsibilities?  Are you aware of the trust review process?  Drafting errors, have you made any?  Did you receive a proper determination notice?  Did SSA's decision result in an adverse action, and what are your client's rights?  Should you pursue reopening, appeal, or amendment?  This presentation will answer all these questions and more. 

11:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.

The Update
Elizabeth N.R. Friman and Robert Fechtman
A review the year’s most significant, interesting and/or quirky cases, and statutory or regulatory changes. Join us for a fast-paced review of a bumpy year.

12:10 p.m. - 1:25 p.m.

Sponsored by KeyBank

1:25 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Breakout Session 1

  • Protecting Public Benefits 101 (Basic)
    Elizabeth N.R. Friman and Emily Kile
    Attorneys who work in elder law and special needs planning frequently work with attorneys who focus in Personal Injury. Sometimes settlements can endanger a recipient’s eligibility for public benefits. Join us for an introductory session about how to identify public benefits issues and address the issues in a fashion that brings solutions for everyone.   
  • SECURE 2.0
    Bradley Frigon
    In the last weeks of 2022, Secure 2.0 was passed and signed into law. Secure 2.0 has some of the most important changes in retirement planning that we have seen in 15 years. It is important for attorneys to understand these changes and how to use these changes to help their clients plan for retirement. This session will take the participants through the provisions that impact retirement planning including important changes to the timing of required minimal distributions, expanded catch-up provisions, and help for part-time employees. 
  • Person Centerted Financial Planning
    Peter Wall and Karen Konvicka
    Financial planning for people with disabilities should be quite distinct from traditional wealth management or institutional investing.  In this session, Peter J Wall and Karen Konvicka, Esq. will review holistic planning for all fiduciaries and planners to help beneficiaries and their families plan for the future.  Topics will include available services, government benefits, legal planning, investment management under the Uniform Prudent Investor Act, and how these facets can interact to ensure positive outcomes. An interactive case study will be used to illustrate the myriad of options and planning tools available, and case law will be provided.

2:20 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Breakout Session 2

  • Talking the Talk: Effectively Explaining Special Needs Trusts to Clients (Basic)
    Letha McDowell and Jennifer VanderVeen
    We spend years understanding the ins and outs of Special Needs Trusts Drafting and Administration, so effectively communicating this complicated area to clients is a necessary learned skill.  This session will discuss ways to describe and explain all of the important aspects of drafting, funding, and most importantly how distributions are made and trusts are administered.  The participants will learn creative ways to explain the limits on uses of trust funds, options to allow the beneficiary as much independence as possible (but without having cash), and payback issues among other important topics for clients to understand.
  • Termnation of Trusts
    Ryann Siclari
    Special needs trusts may end upon the death of the beneficiary, the exhaustion of principal, or the occurrence of an event. This session discusses early termination and termination upon the death of a beneficiary in the context of self-settled special needs trusts and third-party special needs trusts. 
  • Trusts, Antitrust, and Sharing Information
    Mark Bauer
    Being able to get together with colleagues and sharing information about the law and practice is something most attorneys enjoy and benefit from.  But every lawyer should be aware of certain red-lines and pitfalls when conversation crosses the line into potential price-fixing and other antitrust violations.  This session will provide participants with an overview of the problem and topics of conversation best avoided.

3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Break and Visit with Sponsors and Exhibitors
Sponsored by MassMutual SpecialCare

3:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.

Breakout Session 3

  • Top Ten Tips for Special Needs Practitioners (Basic)
    Stuart Zimring
    This session is definitely NOT a lecture! It (hopefully) will be a smorgasbord, a cornucopia of tips, ideas, hints, tools, great-concepts-that-just-didn’t-work-like-I-hoped contributed by our colleagues around the country and by everyone in the room.  Come with your own list of 10 (or more) to share! 
  • Future-ISM:  The Impact of Changes to In-kind Support and Maintenance Policy in the Supplemental Security Income Program
    Kenneth Brown
    In-kind Support and Maintenance  is one of the most complex and confusing policies in the SSI program.  Now that The Social Security Administration has proposed simplification regulations, we will take a look at the impact of those proposals, what a trust may now be able to pay for, what to avoid and other possible changes. 
  • What Attoneys Need to Know to Pick an Effective Pooled Trust
    Megan Brand and Steve Dale
    Finding a trustee is one of the most important things you can do when working with your clients with disabilities.  Oftentimes, the Pooled Trust may be your best option-either to administer a pooled trust or an individual trust.  We will discuss the various factors and characteristics for consideration when finding the best pooled trust for your client.

4:25 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Breakout Session 4

  • Estate Planning for Families Who Have Loves Ones with Special Needs
    Shirley Whitenack
    Many clients know that their resources will be inadequate to provide quality care for their  family member with disabilities for life without the assistance of public benefit programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”).  The creation of a third party special needs trust can accomplish the dual goal of preserving that family member’s eligibility for such programs and providing a vehicle to hold funds contributed by a parent or other family member to supplement those government benefits.  This session will address the different types of third party special needs trusts (testamentary, revocable and irrevocable) as well as the various ways to fund the trusts.
  • Income: What the Heck Is It?
    Haley Greer, Mark Munson and Peter Wall
    In the world of special needs, there is more than “meets the ear” when you hear the word “income.”  This session will touch on all the different definitions of “income” in the context of public benefit programs, such as Medicaid, supplemental security income (“SSI”), and subsidized housing, in the context of trust accounting, and in the context of taxation. 
  • 2023 Regulatory Trends and Changes Impacting Trust-Paid Employees: How to Mitigate Risk and Maintain Compliance 
    Rachel Green and Cheryl Severson

    Employment laws are evolving more rapidly than ever. If you pay your clients’ caregivers, companions, or family members directly from a trust, it can become a complex and time-consuming responsibility to abide by ever-changing labor laws, manage HR issues, carry out regulatory duties, and handle administrative tasks compliantly – even for just one employee.

    Failure to stay up-to-date on employment regulations (at the federal, state, and local levels) can result in financial penalties, lawsuits, and reputational damage for non-compliance.

    In this session, TEAM Risk Management Strategies’ CEO, Rachel Green, and Chief Customer Officer & Head of HR, Cheryl Severson, will provide insights into the most impactful current regulatory trends and changes in household employment law, while sharing real-life examples and arming you with practical tips that will keep you, your clients, and their assets protected when managing these nuanced situations.

5:15 p.m.

Welcome Reception
Sponsored by Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, Autograph Collection