The video of the event can be found here: http://specialneedstownhall.org/
The unique event featured a diverse panel of professional experts who serve the special needs community. The panelists entertained questions on a myriad of issues from a live audience comprised primarily of families and caregivers. Our goal was to increase overall awareness of critical areas essential to the development of a lifespan plan as well as to identify the types of resources available to assist with the process.
Larry Grotte - Rident Park and Gatepath Board of Directors
- Larry Grotte is the President, Co-founder of Rident Park. Rident Park is a unique ‘life-span’ supported living community designed for adults with diverse intellectual and developmental disabilities. Rident Park also serves as a replicable model to inspire other supported living community projects in California and throughout the U.S.
- Website: www.ridentpark.org
- Email: LGrotte@RidentPark.org
- Phone: (650) 740-2603
Daniel Cutter – Merrill Lynch Fiduciary & Special Needs Group
- Daniel Cutter is a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch. He is a founding member of the Fiduciary and Special Needs Group at Merrill Lynch. The Fiduciary and Special Needs Group is a team of financial advisors who leverage training in the field of disability planning and prudent probate investing. The team advocates a collaborative approach to wealth management by drawing upon an extensive network of multi-disciplined professionals and advocates to help clients attain financial success. Dan has been in the financial industry since 1999 and earned his MBA in Finance from the University of San Francisco. He is a special consultant on a book for attorneys titled, Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting, and Administration through the California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB). He also is a special consultant on a book for consumers titled, Administering the California Special Needs Trust: A Guide for Assisting a Person with a Disability as Trustee of a Special Needs Trust.
- Website: www.fa.ml.com/snt
- Email: Daniel_Cutter@ml.com
- Phone: (415) 676-2535 Toll-Free (800) 937-0616
Michael Gilfix – Gilfix & La Poll Associates, LLP
- Michael Gilfix is a Principal of Gilfix & La Poll Associates, LLP. He is a nationally known authority in the field of law, aging and estate planning. A 1973 graduate of Stanford Law School, he is a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a co-founder of NAELA, and a Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. Mr. Gilfix regularly addresses professional audiences, including attorneys, physicians, certified public accountants, and financial planners, nationally as well as locally.
A highly respected practitioner and a prolific author, Mr. Gilfix is co-author of Tax, Estate & Financial Planning for the Elderly: Forms and Practice (Matthew Bender) and is the principal author of Medi-Cal and Asset Preservation, a book-length set of materials for practicing attorneys. He is also the co-author of Facing the Reality of Long Term Care (Mark Gilfix), and author of Beat Estate Tax Forever: Planning for Future Generations and the Special Needs Trust Creation and Management Guide.
- Website: www.gilfix.com
- Phone: (650) 493-8070 Toll-Free (800) 244-9424
Mercy Hall – Hall Law Firm, P.C.
- Mercy Hall is the Principal of Hall Law Firm, P.C., representing clients in special needs planning, conservatorship, settlement planning, probate, and estate planning matters. Mercy is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law, State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization. She has been named a “Rising Star” by Superlawyers from 2013 to 2016. Mercy graduated summa cum laude from the Integral Program at St. Mary’s College in Moraga and earned her J.D. from U.C. Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. Prior to starting her own firm, Mercy developed her expertise working with Kevin Urbatsch, a nationally recognized expert in special needs and settlement planning and with Sterling “Terry” Ross, whom many consider to be an originator of the special needs trust. Mercy is co-author of the article “Settling the Minor’s Lawsuit: Legal Requirements and Practical Advice” Plaintiff’s Magazine (July 2012). She is also a frequent lecturer on special needs and lawsuit settlement planning issues.
- Website: www.mercyhall.com
- Email: Mercy@MercyHall.com
- Phone: (415) 496-9273
- Jim has served the needs of the disabilities community for over 30 years. For the past 11 years he has assisted over 700 families and their family members with disabilities to navigate through Special Needs Trust matters and the various public benefits including SSI, SSDI, MediCal, MediCare, Regional Center, IHSS, CCS and Special Education. Jim’s experience includes being the Executive Director of Alta California Regional Center in Sacramento, Rehabilitation Counselor with the California State Department of Rehabilitation with a Regional Center caseload, and served as Associate Dean of Special Education for the San Diego Community College District. Jim earned his MBA degree from National University, a MA degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado, and a BA degree in Psychology from UCLA.
- Email: JFHuyck@yahoo.com
- Phone: (916) 529-5300
About GatepathFor more than 95 years, Gatepath has been “Turning Disabilities Into Possibilities.” As one of the premier nonprofits in Silicon Valley, we provide inclusive programs for people with special needs at all stages and ages. These programs enable Gatepath to create opportunities of greater independence for children, youth, and adults with special needs and disabilities, empowering both individuals and families through diverse, individualized education and support services. Our dedicated staff encourage physical, developmental, and social well-being at all levels, including early intervention and therapy for children, inclusive preschools, support services for families, social communication programs for youth, vocational training for adults, and employment placement.
About Rident ParkRident Park was founded by families who share the vision of a creating a unique life-span housing community for adults with special needs. After spending several years exploring various housing models around the U.S. and abroad, we developed a shared vision depicting a compelling future for our special children--Where Home and Community Are One.℠
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