3 critical duties special needs trustees must perform

Special needs trusts are often an effective way to provide for disabled adults while ensuring their continued eligibility for needs-based government assistance. If you form one of these trusts for the benefit of a disabled loved one, you probably must name a trustee to oversee it. 

The special needs trustee has a fiduciary duty to both you and the beneficiary of the trust. Honoring this duty requires performing a variety of important functions. Three of them, though, are likely to be critical. 

1. Investment

With smart investing, funds in the special needs trust should continue to grow. This growth may ensure your disabled loved one has long-term access to financial resources. Consequently, after taking possession of trust property, the trustee should diligently and responsibly invest the funds. 

2. Record keeping

Certain tax and other regulations apply to special needs trusts. To ensure the trust complies with applicable laws, the trustee must keep accurate and comprehensive records. He or she also must file taxes and prepare regular reports for you and others. Closely monitoring changes in public programs and trust regulations is also an essential function for special needs trustees. 

3. Communication

The special needs trustee should confirm the beneficiary has access to trust disbursements that do not interfere with is or her eligibility for government assistance. To accomplish this objective, the trustee may need to communicate with the beneficiary’s care providers. 

When the trustee communicates effectively with medical professionals, social workers and others, your disabled relative should receive the resources he or she needs to thrive. 

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