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Transition Summit
Hosted by: Connect to Community

April 18, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Various presenters

Nancy Spain’s presentation will include: an overview of special needs trusts, identifying the various types of special needs trusts and when to use each type; how and when to establish a Special Needs Trust; funding and administration; and how ABLE Accounts can enhance the benefit of a Special Needs trust

To register click here


Spain, Spain & Varnet, P.C. – Annual Seminar
How to Administer a Special Needs Trust 
By: Richard C. Spain, J.D., LL.M. – Tax, Theresa M. Varnet, J.D., M.S.W., and Nancy M. Spain, J.D

Additional information on registration to come.

This seminar is for Parents, Trustees and Successor Trustees of Special Needs Trusts and OBRA ’93 Trusts, and will address the unique needs that families have in planning for the financial and legal future of their relative with a disability. 

Two new laws became effective on January 1, 2020, the Illinois Trust Code was signed into law and replaces the Illinois Trusts and Trustees Act.  We will discuss what the new Trust Code means for trustees and trust makers.  We encourage trustees to attend to understand this new code.  In addition the SECURE Act also became effective on January 1, 2020.  This new federal tax law dramatically changes estate planning options for retirement plan assets.  How to avoid the 1/3rd loss of SSI Benefits through the use of an ABLE Account will also be covered.  The ABLE Act provides a unique solution to losing 1/3rd of SSI benefits if SSI Recipient is unable to pay for his fair share of household expenses.  This and other helpful tips for trustees of SNTs will be shared.  

Seminar topics will include:

  • Trustee Basics: Types of SNTs and when to use each type
  • Beneficiary Designations/ Funding 3rd and 1st Party SNTs
  • Guardianship and Alternatives to Guardianship
  • Government Benefits Overview and Update/Review Legislation
  • ABLE Act
  • General Estate Planning
  • Estate Tax Update
  • SECURE Act
  • Income Tax Requirements and IRA rules
  • The new Illinois Trust Code
  • Administrative Challenges
  • Selecting an Attorney


Evaluating Guardianship and other Assisted Decision-Making Alternatives
Hosted by: Oak Wealth Advisors

May 14, 2020, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Presenters: Mike Walthers (Oak Wealth Advisors) and Nancy M. Spain J.D. (Spain, Spain & Varnet P.C.)

Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
Von Steuben Social Room
5039 North Kimball Avenue
Chicago IL 

The options for assisted decision-making for those with special needs can be confusing, costly, and overwhelming for parents and caregivers. Oak Wealth Advisors‘, Mike Walther, along with Nancy Spain, a special needs estate planning and guardianship attorney from Spain, Spain and Varnet with decades of experience, will help families compare their options so that they can be confident in making the best decision for their loved one.

RSVP by May 7th to Jen Cook

To register click here 

In The News

An Introduction to ABLE Accounts
ABLE accounts are a game-changer for families with special needs, but there has been confusion about how the accounts work. Here are answers to basic questions about what ABLE accounts can and can’t accomplish for the special needs family.

Crowdfunding for Special Needs Individuals: Good, Bad, or "It's Complicated"?
While crowdfunding through such outlets as GoFundMe or Kickstarter can be a quick and effective way of raising money for a person with specials needs, it could also have a negative impact on the beneficiary’s access to government benefits.

Trump Administration Proposes Major Change to Medicaid's Funding Structure
The Department of Health and Human Services will now give states the option to obtain a portion of their federal Medicaid funding via so-called "block grants," although beneficiaries with disabilities should not be directly affected.

Program That Helps People with Disabilities Move Out of Institutions Temporarily Re-Authorized
Congress has temporarily extended the federal government’s largest grant program that helps states transfer people with disabilities from institutions into independent living arrangements.

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