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Special Needs Trusts & ABLE Accounts

August 24, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

Special needs

About This Webinar

This presentation provides an overview of the different types of special needs trusts (self-settled, third-party, and pooled trusts) and explains the circumstances under which each type of trust could be beneficial. Topics of discussion include the items and services that can be paid for by special needs trusts, the relationship between shelter payments and certain government benefits, and general considerations for selecting an appropriate trustee.

The presenter explores the use of ABLE Accounts and describes the strengths and limitations of this special needs planning tool. The presentation compares the effectiveness of ABLE accounts versus special needs trusts in maintaining eligibility for needs-based government benefits, avoiding Medicaid paybacks, providing alternatives to guardianships, and offering long-term financial strategies for families wishing to provide for loved ones with special needs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain a better understanding of the different types of special needs trusts and when a Medicaid payback is required.
  • Learn how ABLE accounts can be used in combination with or in place of special needs trusts.
  • Discover strategies to receive the maximum SSI award—even when the SSI recipient lives at home and receives “in-kind support and maintenance.”
  • Understand the critical need for long-term estate planning for individuals with special needs.


Alison Packard
Packard Law Firm
San Antonio, Texas

Alison Packard is a special needs planning attorney with the Packard Law Firm in San Antonio, Texas.  Her practice focuses on estate planning (including special needs trusts), guardianship, alternatives to guardianship, general probate work and government benefits eligibility. Alison’s passion for her practice comes from her personal life as the mother to a beautiful 28-year-old daughter with significant special needs. Alison knows what it means to fight for a child with disabilities.  She understands the worry that parents have as they plan for children who will always need resources, supports and services. Alison finds great joy in helping others on this journey.

Continuing Education (CE) Credit

Continuing Education

  • Social Work, LPC, LMFT: Programming approval for 1.0 CE credits will be obtained for Social Work, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists from the University of Texas at Austin, Steve Hicks School of Social Work. Check with your state licensing agency for reciprocity and/or credit approval if licensed for other professions or in one of the following states: CO, FL, HI, IA, KS, KY, MI, NY, ND, OH, OK. This training will help social workers be better prepared to work with parents/guardians/caregivers of individuals with disabilities by providing them with the knowledge, information and resources on special needs trusts. Working in this area is complicated due to the infinite number of variables related to specific disabilities and government programs and services. (*Expires: 8/24/24)
  • Case Manager: This program has been submitted to the Commission for Case Manager Certification for approval to provide board certified case managers with 1.0 clock hours. (*Expires: 8/24/23)
  • Board Certified Patient Advocates: This program has been pre-approved by The Patient Advocate Certification Board to provide continuing education credit to Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA). The course has been approved for a total of 1.0 CE contact hour, of which 0.0 are in the area of Ethics. (*Expires: 8/24/24)
  • Certified Family Life Educators (CFLE):  This program has been approved by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) for 1.0 CE credit for CFLE. (*Expires: 8/24/24)
  • Accredited Financial Counselors (AFC): This program has been approved by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Educations (AFCPE) for 1.0 CE credits for AFCs.
  • Certified Personal Financial Counselors (CPFC):This program has been submitted to the Center for Financial Certifications (Fincert) for 1.0 CE credits for CPFCs.
  • Certificates of Attendance are available for providers interested in documenting their training activities.

Event Materials

Presentation Slides (PDF)

Webinar Flyer (PDF)

The Importance of Estate Planning for Military Families

Special Needs Trusts vs. ABLE Accounts (PDF)

ABLE Accounts Overview

Special Needs Trusts Overview

Social Security and Disability 101

Medicare Changes in 2022: What Providers Need to Know

The Changing World of Medicaid

Photo Credit: iStock/Yana Tikhonova


August 24, 2022
11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT
Event Category:

How To Join

Complete the registration form with your name, email address, and how you learned about this webinar. You should receive a confirmation email shortly after with the connection information. Please email us at [email protected] if you have any questions or need technical support.

If you are unable to join the webinar via Zoom, please view the live-streamed webinar at

More Info

On-Demand Webinars
Continuing Education Credits Available