For many of us, an unanticipated influx of money leads to getting that remodel off the ground, paying for college, or taking that long-dreamed-of vacation. For persons with disabilities, that same influx can lead to a loss of vital public benefits. The influx means the person needs to seek legal advice on whether to establish a first-party special needs trust (SNT) or join a first-party pooled SNT. See 42 USC §1396p(d)(4)(A) or 42 USC §1396p(d)(4)(C).
Your client, as settlor, creates a special needs trust set up for a child or grandchild and needs a professional trustee to administer it. Before hiring a potential trustee, the client should determine whether he or she is personally and philosophically compatible with the professional who will actually be managing the trust. You should ask the following questions about the trustee’s background, investment strategy, fees, and management style.