Fundamentals of Pooled Special Needs Trusts and the Disbursement Process: Suggested Best Practices (On Demand Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
GAL for Incapacitated
Persons CE Credit
2.0 (GAL Information)
Designation Credit: 2.0 Trusts and Estates Practice (Designations Information)
Price: $149 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 08/31/2024


A pre-recorded streaming video replay of the August 2021 webcast, Fundamentals of Pooled Special Needs Trusts and the Disbursement Process: Suggested Best Practices.

Topics Covered

  • Master the fundamentals of PSNTs and the rules governing means-tested benefits such as SSI and Medicaid so that you can advise your clients on the best strategies for their individual situations
  • Examine common requests that make trustees cringe, as well as the logistics of approving challenging disbursement requests; examples will be included
  • Learn how to use ABLE as a tool for shelter expenses: ABLE regulations designate most shelter expenses as Qualified Disability Expenses (QDEs)
  • Review 2018 updates to the POMS clarifying that distributions from trusts to ABLE are allowable third-party contributions
  • Discover what happens to the remainder of funds upon the death of the beneficiary
  • Debunk the myth that all PSNTs keep the remainder when the beneficiary passes away

While Trust and Estate Planning attorneys are familiar with Pooled Special Needs Trusts (PSNTs), this presentation offers a more in-depth understanding of how PSNTs are administered and what practical benefits they offer their clients. PSNTs provide a convenient and cost-effective option for families setting up SNTs for their loved ones with special needs and are designed to preserve means-tested public benefits. While all PSNTs are similar in their mission, there are important differences to be aware of, and knowing what questions to ask is important.

This presentation also provides comprehensive information about the disbursement process, the scope and constraints of the trust administration’s duty, and a general overview of what the trust can pay for with examples of real-life situations. Third-party payments for shelter (and other in-kind support and maintenance) expenses result in a reduction in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient’s monthly benefit. With the coordinated use of both a PSNT and an ABLE account, there is a way to avoid this reduction for individuals who are disabled before the age of 26.

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Joanne Marcus, MSW,
Commonwealth Community Trust / Richmond

Joanne Marcus has a master’s degree in social work and serves as the President and CEO of Commonwealth Community Trust (CCT). Ms. Marcus brings to CCT over 37 years of experience in nonprofit administration. At CCT, she served as Executive Director for 21 years before being named President and CEO.

Ms. Marcus has published articles on a variety of topics related to Special Needs Trust Planning and Pooled Special Needs Trusts. The following are a few examples: “How the Elder Law Attorney Can Help the Personal Injury Attorney” (NAELA News); “Nesting a Medicare Set-Aside Inside a Pooled Special Needs Trust (NAMSAP); “The Disbursement Process” (NAELA News), “Enriching Quality of Life and Protecting Medicaid and SSI” (Veteran Family Matters); and “The Benefits of a Pooled Special Needs Trust (NAMI Voice).

Karen Dunivan Konvicka, JD, Commonwealth Community Trust / Richmond

Karen Dunivan Konvicka began her service to Commonwealth Community Trust (CCT) as a member of its Board of Directors two decades ago because of her personal and professional commitment to serving the special needs community.

Previously a principal with ThompsonMcMullan, PC, Ms. Konvicka specialized in Estate, Trust, and Public Benefits Planning for individuals with special needs and their families. She has provided fiduciary litigation services for trusts and estates, along with maintaining a guardianship and conservatorship practice. She received her Juris Doctorate from the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond after receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. She maintains her memberships in the Virginia State Bar, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and continues to speak and provide educational presentations and articles to various organizations.

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