Special needs trusts can provide benefits to, and protect assets of, a disabled person. They are frequently used to receive an inheritance or a settlement awarded due to an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
A special needs trust may be run by family members (a private trust) or by trustees appointed by the court. Great care should be taken in the choice of an appropriate trustee, for a number of reasons.
- It is important that the trustee has the temperament and compassion to be truly supportive of the beneficiary, family and caretakers under even the most stressful conditions.
- If the trust beneficiary qualifies for Medicare benefits, the trustee will need to manage the trust in such a way that those benefits are not lost.
- Care must be taken to ensure that the trust assets are used solely for the benefit of the beneficiary and that detailed records are maintained.
- The trustee must select an asset manager with the skills to provide regular distributions without depleting the trust assets too soon.
- It may be necessary to execute contracts and enter into other legal arrangements on behalf of the trust or beneficiary.
- The trustee should have the knowledge to protect and further the beneficiary’s best interests as circumstances change.
- In the event of an emergency, the trustee should know what actions can be taken quickly and efficiently, and without violating any of the detailed rules that apply to special needs trusts.
Pennsylvania Trust offers unusual expertise in the areas of Special Needs Trusts and Guardianships. Our company and its officers (many of whom are attorneys) are intimately familiar with the formation and administration of these types of accounts, and are well known to many Orphans’ Court judges.
We administer guardianships and special needs trusts in many Pennsylvania counties, as well as in other states. Our experience in this area allows us to offer streamlined and efficient discretionary decisions for families, most of which are made and processed within the same business day they are requested.