1. How much will it cost at the outset to create the SNT?
There is a one-time, non-refundable enrollment fee.
- For a Third-Party Special Needs Trust, the fee is $500.
- For a MARC First-Party Special Needs Trust, the fee ranges between $600 and $750, depending upon whether the trust applicant can sign the application or needs someone to sign on his/her behalf.
2. What is the annual fee for managing the trust?
Each participant’s annual fee is determined by applying the following scaled percentage to the assets in his/her trust account:
- 3% on the first $500,000
- 5% on the next $250,000
- 2% on the next $250,000
- 75 % on the balance over $1,000,000
The annual fee covers the costs of:
- Fiduciary and administrative services
- Service coordination by licensed social workers
- Professional investment management
- Disbursements and record keeping
- Annual Reports to each participant showing all activity in his/her account
- Ongoing monitoring of public policies, rules, and regulations affecting Special Needs Pooled Trusts
3. Who will provide professional investment services for the trust’s assets?
Webster Private Bank, the wealth management division of Webster Bank, is a $25 billion regional financial institution headquartered in Waterbury, Connecticut. A team of fiduciary and investment professionals works closely with PLAN to ensure that the investment portfolio and allocation of investments are appropriate. WPB takes pride in delivering straight-forward, objective advice and attentive service.
4. What is the minimum amount required to fund the trust?
There is no required minimum deposit to set up a SNT with PLAN. However, given the costs, PLAN discourages applicants from enrolling in a trust with less than $10,000.
A family with little or no resources may want to consider a future-funded trust with PLAN. This offering allows a family to create the framework for the trust and to fund it when resources are available sometime in the future. (Some families choose to name the trust as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.) An enrollment fee is required, but no annual fee until the trust is funded. Also, a PLAN service coordinator will conduct an initial meeting with the participant and/or family to gather information about goals and needs, and s/he will do a brief annual check-in to track any changes.
5. Do you want a professional trustee to assume responsibility for the trust or do you prefer that a friend or family member serve as a trustee?
All trusts must have a trustee – a person or organization responsible for disbursing funds, managing the trust’s operations, and ensuring that it adheres to relevant federal and state regulations. By law, the nonprofit organization administering a pooled SNT must be the trustee. This ensures effective trust management and relieves family members of an onerous responsibility that can impact family relations.
With PLAN’s decades of experience as trustee, participants are assured of effective, knowledgeable, and accountable trust management. As trustee, PLAN handles (in collaboration with Webster Private Bank) all accounting, investments, tax returns, and disbursements for each participant. Notably, we are expert in identifying which disbursements are permitted by law and which are not—and helping participants (and families) plan accordingly to effectively use the trust funds.
6. Will there be a social worker or other experienced professional to provide guidance on how to use the funds (and how the funds may not legally be used)?
PLAN is unique in having a veteran team of social-work trained Service Coordinators who take a direct and individualized approach to supporting and guiding trust participants. Service Coordinators are deeply familiar with the relevant federal and state regulations to ensure that disbursements are appropriate. Service Coordinators help a participant identify day-to-day needs and long-term goals. They work with the individual, and often his/her family, to create a prudent spending plan that addresses those needs and goals.
7. Who will assist the trust’s participant in identifying needed services and paying the bills?
PLAN’s Service Coordinators communicate with participants, family members, and external service providers. They help to identify unmet needs and eligible expenses; suggest resources and goods and services; and determine whether expenditures meet legal requirements. Also, on a weekly basis, Service Coordinators review disbursement requests and authorize bill payment for their assigned participants.