Opportunities in Planning and Saving for Higher Education and Disability Expenses (Online Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
GAL for Incapacitated
Persons CE Credit
2.0 (GAL Information)
Price: $140 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 08/31/2019


A pre-recorded streaming video replay from the August 2016 webcast, Opportunities in Planning and Saving for Higher Education and Disability Expenses.

Note: Your GAL certificate may be found at the front of your written materials.

Why Attend?

  • Learn about saving for higher education through 529 plans and about the new savings and investment opportunities for individuals with severe disabilities and their families through ABLE accounts
  • Discover the interplay between 529 plans and financial aid, estate planning features, family law issues, and structured-settlement practices
  • Review the statutory and regulatory framework of ABLE accounts, eligibility requirements, qualified disability expenses, exemptions from certain benefits means testing, and how this new kind of account compares to special needs trusts

Impress your clients with your knowledge of the ins and outs of 529 college savings plans and the new “Achieving a Better Life Experience” (ABLE) accounts.


529 Accounts

  1. What Is the Virginia529?
  2. Why Is Planning and Saving for College so Important?
  3. State Legislation and Guidance
  4. Contract Provisions
  5. Impact on Financial Aid — Myth and Fact
  6. Practice Area Focus
    1. Tax Benefits — Federal and State
    2. Treatment in Bankruptcy
    3. Estate Planning Features
    4. Family Law Consequences

ABLE Accounts

  1. ABLE Accounts — A Brief History
  2. Why Are They Needed?
  3. Federal Legislative and Regulatory Features
  4. State Law
  5. Eligibility
  6. Qualified Disability Expenses
  7. Means-Testing Exemption
  8. ABLE Accounts with Special Needs Trust — Compare and Contrast

What Is the Virginia529 College Savings Plan?

Virginia529 sponsors the Commonwealth’s four affordable, flexible, tax-advantaged programs to assist you and your clients in planning and saving for college. Virginia529 is the independent state agency that runs the country’s largest 529 plan with over $56 billion in assets under management and more than 2.1 million accounts across the country. Virginia529 is currently creating Virginia’s ABLE program, ABLEnowsm, which is scheduled to open in late 2016.





Mary G. Morris, CEO, Virginia529 / Richmond

Mary G. Morris is the Chief Executive Officer of Virginia529 College Savings Plan, a role she has held since October 2007. She directs and manages the operations, resources, and investments of Virginia529. Ms. Morris came to Virginia529 from the national law firm of Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP. As a tax, securities, and bond expert, she was brought to the firm’s Institutional Investor Client Services Group for her extensive knowledge of public financing issues and public service experience to expand the law firm’s practice to state and local pension funds and other institutional investors. Her prior work focused on corporate governance initiatives and standards.

Ms. Morris earned a Juris Doctor and Master of Law and Taxation from the Marshall–Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary.

Shawn P. McLaughlin, President, McLaughlin Ryder Investments, LLC / Alexandria

With more than thirty years of investment experience, Shawn P. McLaughlin began his career as a financial advisor with a major regional brokerage firm where he spent twenty years building his practice before starting his own full-service investment firm, McLaughlin Ryder Investments, Inc. Mr. McLaughlin was recognized as a Top Financial Professional by Northern Virginia Magazine for 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Mr. McLaughlin is Chairman of Virginia529’s Board.

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