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Advocacy as important as funding in a special needs trust

| Aug 3, 2015 | Uncategorized |

Do you have a loved one who suffers from a significant disability? If you have a child with severe autism or a brother or sister with down syndrome, a special or supplemental needs trust can pay for additional expenses that Medicaid may not cover.

Most people initially think about the cost in establishing a trust and the amount they will set aside to fund the trust. However, appointing the right trustee who will advocate for your loved one is equally important. 

Inability to advocate for themselves

Individuals with disabilities often qualify for many services through Medicaid, such as comprehensive medical care, housing, transportation and various activities including sheltered employment. These services do not always meet all needs or provide the best quality of life available.

With a special needs trust the beneficiary is probably not in a position to advocate on his or her own behalf. A corporate trustee focused on investing assets in the trust may be unsure of the beneficiaries needs. Well-invested assets in a trust may grow, but ultimately fail to serve the intended purpose if the trustee waits for requests.

Appointing co-trustees is one way to avoid this issue. A bank trustee may make decision about the wisest investment. But a family member or a private care manager would monitor what things may make the beneficiary’s life better and make requests for better medical equipment, additional therapy sessions and recreational opportunities as necessary.

Spending time to consider the appropriate trustee(s) will ensure that trust funds are used proactively to enhance the life of your loved one.


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