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Showing posts from July, 2014

(d)(4)(A) vs. (d)(4)(C) - The Great Debate

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We are seeing a lot of attorneys drafting d4A Special Needs Trusts for disabled beneficiaries under age 65 when they should use a Pooled Trust.  We administer both individual and our pooled SNT, so it doesn't really matter to us.  I will propose a thought that there is never a good reason to draft an individual SNT over our Pooled Trust.  The traditional arguments for drafting a stand alone (d)(4)(A) SNT over a pooled trust include:  1) I want to be the trustee (or name a family member), 2) I want the trustee to pay back the Medicaid lien and then the rest go to designated beneficiaries and 3) I want to invest the funds, or have my investment person handle the investments.  I will take each of these points in turn. 
Individuals do not know how to administer trusts in general, let alone SNT's.  The federal law and policy is constantly changing, particularly for beneficiaries receiving Supplemental Security Income, or SSI.  It is extremely difficult to keep up with these changes…

iBudget Proposed Rule held invalid by Court

On Monday July 21, 2014 a three judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) did not follow the statute in their implementation of the iBudget.  APD administers the program that funds individuals with developmental disabilities in the community.  Click HERE to read the 8 page opinion.  This means APD must continue to provide services and funding under the previous methodology and go back to the drawing board on implementing an algorithm to determine appropriate individual budgets that comply with the law.  
Continue to monitor our blog for any new information.

Purchasing a vehicle from a pooled special needs trust

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Often we receive requests from a beneficiary to purchase a car with the funds from their pooled trust account. We generally do not have an issue with approving such requests. However, when a beneficiary requests that we purchase a vehicle in someone other than a beneficiary’s name, we have a sole benefit problem. There are many legitimate reasons why one would want to purchase a vehicle for the beneficiary but in another person’s name. Most commonly is when a beneficiary is unable to drive but still needs transportation. So how does the pooled trust purchase a vehicle in someone other than the beneficiary’s name without violating the sole benefit requirement? Social Security has recently provided us with some guidance. In Emergency Message 14026, Social Security released a “Trust Training Fact Guide” which states the following:
“If the trust purchases durable items, e.g., a car or house, either the beneficiary or the trust must be the owner (a car title may show the trust as a lien hol…