WHAT IS A TRUST? A Trust is a legal entity that allows one or more persons (Grantors) to give assets to a second person (Trustee), that must be used for the benefit of a third person (Beneficiary). A Trustee manages property that is held in a Trust. The Beneficiary is usually the owner of the property or a person designated by the owner of the property. A Trustee may be either an individual or a corporation.
Julie has served as a Trustee for individuals for over 15 years with an emphasis on Special Needs Trusts. A Special Need Trust is designed specifically for people with disabilities. Often, the Trust is funded with proceeds from a personal injury settlement or an inheritance. The Trusts are designed specifically to protect beneficiaries receiving such public benefits as SSI, Medicaid, food stamps and housing. Having a Special Needs Trust ensures that beneficiaries will not lose these benefits as long as the Trust is properly administered.
The Trustee of a Special Needs Trust must know which public benefits programs might be available to the beneficiary. The Trustee must also know all of the rules related to these programs and must administer the Trust accordingly so that a beneficiary does not lose these benefits. The essential purpose of a Special Needs Trust is to improve the quality of the individual's life without disqualifying him or her from eligibility to receive public benefits.
Julie attends seminars and conferences on the administration of Special Needs Trusts, at least annually. She is knowledgeable in all disability benefits, including SSD, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid and veteran's benefits.
Duties of the Trustee include:
Handle all financial affairs of the Trust, including paying trust expenses, reconciling accounts and monitoring investments.
Determine appropriateness of distributions requested by beneficiaries and ensure all public benefits are protected.
Plan budgets based on short-term and long-term (financial and medical) special needs of each beneficiary.
Work closely with financial advisors to ensure assets are invested appropriately and prudently to meet the needs of the beneficiary.
In addition to basic Trust duties, the following care management services are also available:
Assess the special needs of each beneficiary to develop a plan of care.
Assist with insurance claims.
Recommend and order medical equipment and supplies.
Schedule medical appointments and monitor healthcare.
Communicate with medical providers and family members.
Assist with placement in nursing home and assisted living facilities.
Assist with social activities and arrange transportation.
Recommends doctors, therapists and other medical providers.