Wispact Newsletter Summer 2022

Moving Wispact Forward – A Message from Current Chair

Every three years, Wispact’s Board of Directors reconsiders and modifies Wispact’ s Strategic Plan based on beneficiary/advisor, creating attorney, and staff input. Through a comprehensive strategic planning process, the Board identifies directives that are central to continued growth and evolution of Wispact. Staff is then tasked with meeting these directives and documenting progress by measuring key performance indicators.

After a year-long process of gathering input, accessing how well the staff has achieved previous directives, and Board discussion guided by an outside consultant, the Board has identified six strategic directives that are critical to the continued improvement and growth of Wispact: philanthropy, equity, community, people, advocacy, and infrastructure. Each of the directives are comprised of specific priorities and goals that will be measured over the next three years. Implementation of these objectives is well underway and success measures are regularly monitored by the Board.

The Board and staff have also reformulated our Mission to reflect our activities more directly. Our new Mission Statement:

“We enhance the well-being of people of all ages with disabilities across Wisconsin through the management of special needs trusts by promoting more choice and opportunities.”

For more information about Wispact, see https://www.wispact.org/history/
For a complete list of current Board members: https://www.wispact.org/board-of-directors/

Wispact’s Board of Directors and staff make our Mission a priority as we work to make a successful organization.

Bridget Erwin
Hager, Dewick, & Zuengler
Green Bay, WI

Update Your Mailing Address

To ensure that you receive quarterly statements and tax documents – make sure Wispact has your most current mailing address. Contact your Beneficiary Specialist to update your address. For a list of all staff contacts and phone numbers, please see https://www.wispact.org/staff/

Lawn Care for Beneficiaries

Lawn care throughout the summer months can be a major chore! Mow your grass at the right height, water properly, treat for grubs, avoid parking on the grass, sharpen your mower blades, let clippings lie, and fertilize warm season grasses.

Many beneficiaries enjoy doing their own lawn work, but some may be inclined to hire a professional. This is a popular distribution request received at Wispact in the summer.

Things to consider when making a request from your trust account for these services: Wispact may need to see proof of home ownership before we can approve this request. If you rent and lawn care is part of your agreement with your landlord we will need to see this outlined in your lease.

In addition, you need to consider who you are hiring to provide the service. A request to pay a professional business will be more straightforward than a request to pay a family member or someone from your neighborhood. Wispact can accommodate a request to make a payment for a more informal arrangement; however, there are limitations to how much we can pay. Your Beneficiary Specialist can help you understand what your trust will be able to pay so you can plan accordingly.

Wispact Creating Attorney Profile: Peter Grosskopf

(As we approach our 20th Anniversary in 2023, Wispact is seeking testimonials from Wispact beneficiaries and profiles of Wispact creating attorneys. If you are interested in participating in our 20th Anniversary Report, please contact James Giese, Director of Outreach, jgiese@wispact.org)

“If you compare Wispact with some of the other pool trusts around the country, people might get the impression that they’re all the same. And, they’re not. What I hear from people in other states is that Wispact has become the gold standard which they want to try to reach,” said Peter E. Grosskopf, Grosskopf Law Offices of Eau Claire, WI.

Peter Grosskopf, one of the early members of Wispact, has more than 35 years of experience and works closely with clients in the areas of Elder Law, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning, Trusts, Trust & Estate Administration.

During his early tenure, Grosskopf served two terms, or about 12 years, on the Wispact board of directors. After his term as board member, he was asked to become the consultant to the board of directors and has served in that capacity ever since.

“When it started, we were hoping to get some clients and some trusts and do some good work. But then, the organization grew and added more and more clients and the amount of assets that are invested grew; it’s just incredible to think where it was when it started,” Grosskopf said.

When asked about specific value that Wispact fulfills, Grosskopf reported, “It’s just incomprehensible that there are wide gaps in the services that are provided to disabled individuals. Gaps in coverage of what Medicaid will cover, gaps in what SSI or Social Security Disability will cover. A big one is dental work. In theory, Medicaid will cover dental work. In reality, it’s very difficult if not impossible to find a dentist who’s willing to accept Medicaid. And so, having a fund available where an individual can get their dental work paid for is just priceless.”

To further explain the value provided by Wispact, Grosskopf added, “A common example I give is that somebody who’s on Medicaid might be in a wheelchair and they think they need a new wheelchair, but Medicaid doesn’t think so because the chair is only 10 years old. And with the fund available, they can get a new wheelchair. That’s just one example, but it’s this sort of thing that can be done with the trust just to make life a little bit better.”

Those with special needs are even more vulnerable during times of transition thus making a Wispact trust even more important to their well-being. “There are a whole lot of people who are looking at going into a nursing home or assisted living and having a pool of money available where they can pay for extra things is important. And by extra things, I’m not talking about luxury vacations. I’m talking about additional care or therapies that they might need including being able to pay a family member to be a caregiver,” Grosskopf added.

“I would find it very difficult to be that attorney who is serving the disabled and not familiar with Wispact. The cost to set up a trust is low and the rewards that the clients get are immense. I’ve got clients who have fairly small accounts, often it’s less than $10,000. We’re not talking about people who have half million-dollar luxury accounts. You’re talking about people who have relatively small amounts of money. They get the benefit of the pooled trust, investment expertise with a beneficiary specialist provided at no additional cost. So, I can’t imagine any attorney trying to work in this area without at least being familiar with Wispact,” Grosskopf said.

When asked about the future, Grosskopf concluded, “I think the current leadership has just taken it a notch above. And when I am done with my time at Wispact, I think it will be in good hands. I hope they never leave. But they’ve really done a fabulous job. I’m thrilled to be a part of the organization.”

Upcoming Wispact Foundation Grant Submissions Due 

In May of 2021, Wispact established a new Wispact Foundation Endowment Fund. The new foundation represents a legacy of service through the administrative efforts of Wispact managed by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. In 2021, the foundation completed its first grant cycle. In this inaugural cycle – the foundation has received 31 grant applications for almost $240,000 in requested funding.

Organizations who received grants in the 2021 grant cycle have post award reports due on July 8, 2022. Applications for grants to be awarded in the 2022 cycle are due on August 8, 2022.

For more information about applying for a grant: https://www.wispactfoundation.org/apply-for-a-grant/


“We enhance the well-being of people of all ages with disabilities across Wisconsin through the management of special needs trusts by promoting more choice and opportunities.”

About the Email Newsletter
Beneficiaries and Advisors – Wispact has switched to an email format for newsletters. If you would like someone to receive this (beneficiary or advisor), please reply to James Giese, Director of Communications, jgiese@wispact.org or call 608-268-6006 ext 209. To unsubscribe, click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email or reply to this message with your unsubscribe request.

If you have questions about your trust account, please contact your Beneficiary Specialist.

Wispact, Inc.
226 Corporate Drive
Madison, WI 53714
(608) 268-6006 | F (608) 252-8449

For a staff listing: https://www.wispact.org/staff/

Wispact, Inc. is not a registered investment adviser, registered stock broker or broker-dealer and does not offer investment advisory services, programs or products. Any investment questions should be directed to qualified licensed professional financial advisers.