3rd Annual Special Needs Planning Symposium

12 Reasons This Will Be the Best Special Needs Planning Conference EVER

February 5 – 7, 2019
Sonoma County, California

  1. Earning those Continuing Education Hours. The entire Symposium can provide up to 17.5 hours of continuing education credit (including 2 hours of ethics) for attorneys and fiduciaries, this also includes Certified Specialist credit for attorneys. The main program is scheduled for 13.5 hours of credit and there are an additional 4 hours of optional credit.
  1. Extensively Covering the Basics. On Thursday morning, we are providing two optional classes designed to provide a foundation on special needs planning. These include the Basics of Public Benefits and the Basics of SNT Administration. The SNT Administration course will be updated to include the 2018 changes to SSI law.
  1. Building Your Team and Knowing the Ethics Rules. At the same time as the Basics program, Michele Fuller will provide her Atticus training and years of experience in helping professionals build and perfect their legal team by teaching a highly interactive course on Fire Fast, Hire Slow, a crowd favorite. The ethics class will be taught by experienced counsel concerning cyber security and understanding legal capacity.
  1. Managing Those with Unrealistic Expectations. Professionals will inevitably deal with those people with unrealistic expectations when planning for persons with disabilities and administering special needs trusts. These can arise from a beneficiary or their family, courts and judges, or public benefit programs. Our panel will provide proven strategies to address these situations and manage those difficult people.
  1. Buying and Selling Real Estate for SNT Beneficiary. Finding decent affordable housing can be especially challenging for persons with disabilities. Few things provide a more direct benefit to a person with a disability than a home whether it is a living environment that is adapted to his or her disabilities or is just a safe and clean place to live. Our panel will discuss the best practices when buying and selling real estate in a SNT.
  1. Administering SNT for the Mentally Ill. Administering an SNT when a beneficiary has a mental illness is one of the most challenging tasks a professional will undertake. The beneficiary may not cooperate, can be verbally abusive, or even be a danger to themselves or others. Managing a SNT with this beneficiary requires special training, additional skills, a thick skin, and a great deal of patience. This program is designed so the professional can learn the tools to serve this population by using their professional skills and resources.
  1. Defending the SNT Trustee if Accused of Wrongdoing SNT trustees are subject to many rules and regulations. It would be a rare trustee who is not accused of wrongdoing at some point in his or her career, sometimes learning that actions taken in good faith may have violated trust terms or public benefit laws. However, there are tools trustees (and those that advise them) can use to protect themselves. It is a rare breach of trust that cannot be corrected. Our expert panel will provide these tools and discuss how to avoid these unpleasant situations.
  1. Knowing How Long the Money Will Last in an SNT. Many SNTs are set up to last for a beneficiary’s lifetime and others, to last as long as possible. This program will provide the needed tools to prepare an SNT depletion analysis to understand how much money is needed and how long a trust estate will last for any given beneficiary.
  1. Demystifying Trust Protectors and Debating Their Use. The rise of Trust Protectors in SNT administration has created issues. Some fiduciaries have embraced the use of Trust Protectors and others refuse to serve. Our panel discusses the pros and cons of serving in a trust with a Trust Protector. The panel then discusses best practices and options that may improve how the two roles can peacefully coexist.
  1. Recovering Assets When a Person with a Disability has been Defrauded. Abuse and exploitation are constant dangers for people with disabilities. This program will provide a discussion on how to remedy dependent adult financial abuse, safeguard assets, recover assets, obtain damages and collect fiduciary and attorney fees. The program will provide clues to know if abuse has occurred and what to do if it has.
  1. Knowing Taxes and Special Needs Planning. Everyone loves taxes! Well, that is what our instructor Courtney Kosnik says. She has prepared hundreds of fiduciary income tax returns for SNT trustees. She will provide attendees with the basics of taxation of SNTs, tips in preparing these returns, issue spotting, and missed opportunities. Her program is essential in understanding fiduciary income tax issues for SNT trustees and those who represent them.


  1. Finding the Right Plan: Common Case Studies During Planning. This session will provide a tutorial of the common scenarios that professionals face when planning for persons with disabilities or administering special needs trusts. The speakers will discuss intake procedures to obtain accurate information, common planning and administration issues and their solutions, and discuss ways to set up procedures to provide the best service possible to your clients. The speakers will present scenarios and real word experience in the best way to manage the most common situations.