A Trustee for a Special Needs Trust for a Disabled Person

Often one of the biggest challenges is to find a trustee for a special needs trust for a disabled person.  The difficulty may involve finding someone that will be around for years to come.  This is an especially difficult problem for older parents of a disabled person.  They realize that their time left is very limited, but that their disabled child will likely live for many decades after the parents are gone.

Another big problem is to find a trustee that knows public benefits.   The point of a special needs trust is to not cause the disabled person to lose benefits while enhancing their life with the extra money that a family member may provide.  The public benefits system is created by complex rules and regulations, usually initiated by the federal government and then added to by the state or county that administers the programs.  So there are usually hard to understand federal, state and local rules and procedures that change frequently.  It takes some expertise to understand what can and cannot be done.

Colorado has a nonprofit that intends to be around forever and has the experts to navigate the public benefit world, that acts as trustee for these trusts.  Its called the "Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities" or CFPD.  Here is the link to their website:  http://www.cfpdtrust.org/

I have not had any direct involvement with CFPD.  I have heard about them at legal seminars and from lawyers who work with the disabled.  CFPD is a pooled trust.  That means that if you want to establish a special needs trust for a disabled friend or relative, you establish your trust, make arrangements for CFPD to act as trustee and then your funds are added to all the others managed by CFPD.   Then CFPD keeps an account for your trust and makes sure that monies are appropriately used to help your friend or family member.

The ongoing nature of this nonprofit corporation and its expertise are huge benefits in establishing a special needs trust.   One of the very real dangers of establishing a special needs trust with a trustee that does not know all the rules of the various programs benefiting the disabled is that the trust may violate some of those rules which could have very serious consequences for the disabled person.

Therefore, anyone considering a special needs trust in Colorado should consider using CFPD.  I will follow up with more info about CFPD soon.l

Posted on August 31, 2014 .