This program provides the fundamentals of special needs trust administration for persons with disabilities. The experienced instructors will guide attendees to those problematic issues that arise during SNT administration and offer solutions to avoid or fix the problem. Topics covered in this session are part of the core competencies in taking the exam to obtain a Special Needs Trust Management Certificate through the Center for Guardianship Certification. It will be an incredible overview for experienced fiduciaries and an outstanding introduction to this worthwhile practice.
Pre Conference Intensive B
Ann Koerner, RN, BSN, CRRN
Ann Koerner is President and Founder of National Care Advisors – a firm dedicated to providing consulting services for attorneys, financial planners and trustees. National Care Advisors provides care and quality of life planning services for those families faced with physical disability, mental illness, developmental disability, or eldercare issues. Services include planning and case management applicable to Special Needs Trusts and government benefits preservation. National Care Advisors also specializes in post-litigation resolution consulting services specific to lien negotiation, Medicare Set Aside projections and administration.
Kevin Urbatsch, Esq.
Kevin Urbatsch is the principal of the special needs and settlement planning law firm, The Urbatsch Law Firm, in Berkeley, California. Kevin is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Kevin is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). ACTEC is a nonprofit association of lawyers established in 1949. Its members comprise the top 1 percent of estate planning professionals from around the country. They are elected to the College by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence, and experience as trust and estate counselors. Kevin serves as National Director of the Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP), a national organization of over 450 special needs planning professionals. Kevin has received several awards. In 2013, Parenting Magazine named Kevin one of the nation’s Top Child Advocates for his work in fighting for the rights of children with special needs. In May 2011, Kevin was presented the NAELA’s Presidential Recognition Award for his work in special needs planning. From 2010 through 2022, Kevin was named a Northern California Superlawyer. In 2009, Kevin was named KRON-TV’s Best of the Bay estate-planning attorney for Northern California. In 2021, Kevin prepared a course for California’s Probate Judges on the legal background and issues for special needs planning and trusts before the court for California’s Center for Judicial Education and Research. The federal government flew him to Washington to do a program for the FFIEC Annual Conference to teach bank regulators the proper way to administer a special needs trust when a corporate fiduciary serves as an SNT trustee. Kevin was instrumental in depublishing the appellate court opinion Scott v. McDonald (2018) 26 Cal. App. 463, a decision that would have wreaked havoc on using special needs trusts for persons with disabilities by leading a consortium of charities and professional organizations to submit a brief for its depublication. Kevin served as an expert witness in two matters that went to trial and as an expert on the planning needs of persons with disabilities in several other cases that were resolved before litigation.
For Herb Thomas, founder of Kairos Fiduciary Services, serving as a trustee for Special Needs Trusts and Settlement Trusts is more than a job or career. It is a calling that holds a personal significance since he has a child diagnosed with special needs. Herb understands what parents and people who are injured need to consider as they move forward in their lives. Herb has years of expertise in Special Needs Trust and Settlement Trust administration in the state of California and nationwide as well as a depth of experience in Conservatorships, Public Benefits Advocacy, and Probate Estate Administration.
Herb is a California Licensed Professional Fiduciary (CLPF), with license number #86—meaning he was one of the first 100 people in California to earn the authority to serve as a professional fiduciary. He is a frequent speaker at conferences such as the Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP), the Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC), and the California SNT Symposium. He is also the co-author of chapter 15 “Setting Up Systems for Efficient SNT Administration” in the well-received book, Administering the California Special Needs Trust: A Guide for Trustees and Those Who Advise Them. Before opening a fiduciary practice, Herb served as the Benefits Advocate for Kaiser Permanente’s very first Community Benefits Advocacy program, where he worked with the complex labyrinth of public and private benefits to subsidize cost of member care. Herb also worked with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for 7 years as taxpayer delinquency investigator.
Herb holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences from San Francisco State University, and he has served on the boards of a variety of non-profit organizations including Behavioral Intervention for Autism (BIA4Autism) and Legal Assistance for Seniors. Herb is married and the father of three children. In his free time, Herb loves spending time with family and friends. The family loves to travel together and have visited Russia, Brazil, the African continent, Western Europe, and a great many beaches throughout Hawaii. He is an avid foodie, a novice astronomer, and enjoys tinkering with and repairing electrical and mechanical gadgets.
Lisa M. Soloway
Lisa Soloway is a California Licensed Professional Fiduciary and owner of Soloway Fiduciaries, Inc. She has been administrating trusts, estates and Conservatorships for sixteen years. The Contra Costa court regularly appoints Ms. Soloway to resolve contentious family matters and provide complex trust analyses and accountings. Lisa is a long-time member of the Estate Planning Council of Diablo Valley and is Vice-President of the board of directors. She is a proud member of the Professional Fiduciary Association of California and the Past President of the East Bay Chapter. Lisa also sits on the board of Wellspring Educational Services in Walnut Creek and the Regional Center of the East Bay.
Frank R. Acuña, Esq.
Frank R. Acuña is a founding partner of Acuña*Regli, located in Pleasant Hill, California, with satellite offices in Berkeley and Fairfield, California. Mr. Acuña is certified by the State Bar of California as an estate planning, probate, and trust administration specialist. His practice is built around the needs of tax professionals and includes estate planning, probate and trust law, business succession planning, and inheritance litigation.