The Arc of Bristol County, in its further commitment to making a difference in the lives of elders, individuals with disabilities and their families, is proud to offer Trust Management Services.
What is Trust Management?
As most of us are familiar with the conventional life-planning strategy of a health care proxy, will, or power of attorney, you may not be aware of the possibility of providing your loved one with alternatives with various trust options. A trust is a legal plan for placing funds and other assets in the control of a trustee for the benefits of an individual. It is a considerably less expensive alternative for the protection of an individual’s assets without having the individual declared incompetent.
Which plan should I choose?
With several estate planning options available, there is no “one size fits all” in assessing the needs for your own and the future of your loved one. The Arc of Bristol County will provide a comprehensive personalized plan by working directly with individuals and families in a caring and concerned environment, to develop options that maximize wealth preservation, maintain funding and eligibility requirements for government programs and public benefits, and prepare for long-term care. These services include wills, special or supplemental needs trusts, pooled trusts, health care proxies, powers of attorney, guardianships, representative payee and Roger’s monitor.
What is the role of The Arc?
The Arc of Bristol County works closely with individuals and family members or other interested parties to provide the guidance for responsible life planning and making important choices for your future. With The Arc serving as trustee, elders, individuals and families have professional investment, accounting of all disbursements, annual updates of accounts, tax payments and tax filing preparation, along with further protection from creditors with peace of mind in safeguarding your financial investments.
To schedule an appointment or for additional information, contact the Trust Management Department at our main office (508) 226-1445.
The Arc of Bristol County Pooled Trust
In collaboration with Bristol County Savings Bank, The Arc of Bristol County is pleased to announce a new financial solution for families of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the elderly. The Arc of Bristol County Pooled Trust is a very useful estate planning tool to protect an individual’s public benefits and still save significant amounts of money for their future use. By pooling funds, each individual account in the pooled trust yields more productive dividends for investment purposes in accordance with the value of their account balance.
“The Pooled Trust is a great option for families of moderate income, who wish to provide for their family member’s future needs,” said Michael Andrade, President and CEO of The Arc of Bristol County. “Families do not have to be associated with The Arc to participate in the Pooled Trust. We are happy to offer this service to whoever needs this safe and affordable financial tool.”
Families are often faced with a dilemma trying to assist a relative who is dependent on government assistance. Individuals with disabilities and the elderly may have needs beyond what is covered with government benefits, but have few ways to fund those needs without risking disqualification from benefits. The Pooled Trust offers a safe way to fund supplemental needs without risk, ensuring disbursements are made as the family has instructed and compliant with MassHealth regulations
The Arc of Bristol County and Bristol County Savings Bank work closely with individuals and family members to provide the guidance for responsible life financial planning. The Arc’s experienced staff extends all stages of advocacy with individually focused support, and enrollment legal advice. The Arc’s Pooled Trust ensures the needed reporting and record-keeping are completed, so families can have peace of mind regarding the supplemental needs for their relatives.
For more information please contact Jennifer Sweet, Trust Administrator at 508-226-1445.
What is a (d)(4)(C) Pooled Trust?
A pooled trust is a trust established and administered by a non-profit organization. A separate account is established for each beneficiary of the trust, but for the purposes of investment and management of funds, the trust pools these accounts. For self-settled, or (d)(4)(C) pooled trusts, each subaccount is established by the person with a disability, a parent, grandparent, guardian, or a court, and the trust is funded with the assets of the person with a disability. The trust provides that, upon the death of the disabled beneficiary, if there are funds remaining in the beneficiary’s subaccount, the trust must pay to the state an amount up to the total amount of Medicaid assistance provided to the beneficiary, to the extent that the funds are not retained by the trust. The pooled trust should be irrevocable to avoid being treated as a resource.
Third-party pooled trust subaccounts can also be established by family members who want to leave inheritances for persons with disabilities. Because these accounts are not funded with the assets of the person with a disability, they do not include a Medicaid payback provision.
When is a (d)(4)(C) Pooled Trust used?
Elder law attorneys often assist persons with disabilities who receive public benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, and then receive an inheritance, divorce settlement, or personal injury settlement or award. The receipt of these funds may make this person ineligible for public benefits. The client could purchase exempt resources, and then reapply for benefits; however, in many cases, there are no appropriate exempt resources for the person with disabilities to purchase. The person with a disability would then be ineligible for public benefits until these funds are spent down. The person could give the funds away, however, the gifts would result in a period of ineligibility for SSI and Medicaid long-term care benefits. If under 65 years of age, then the person could transfer the funds to a (d)(4)(A) Special Needs Trust (SNT). A fourth alternative is to transfer the funds to a (d)(4)(C) (“Pooled Trust”) subaccount.
What are the advantages of a (d)(4)(C) Pooled Trust subaccount compared to a (d)(4)(A) SNT?
The person with a disability under 65 years of age may create his or her own pooled trust subaccount. Because the pooled trust is managed by a non-profit organization, it is not necessary to find a trustee who is willing to manage the trust. Additionally, because the trust funds are pooled for investment and management purposes, the administrative expenses of these trusts are frequently lower than those of a (d)(4)(A) SNT.