PLAN of MARI Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some of the questions our team regularly receives. We hope you won’t hesitate to reach out to us for further clarification of answers below, or with questions and concerns not addressed below. We strive to be the number one and a centralized resource for care planning, financial planning, and estate planning for individuals with special needs and for the family members of individuals with disability.


What exactly is a pooled trust?

A Special Needs Pooled Trust is simply a trust that is pooled for investment purposes only. The trust could be First Party or Third-Party. Each person within the master pool trust has their own individual sub-account that their funds get disbursed from. The pooling of the funds helps to reduce costs and offer more services through the investment of the funds.

For individuals over the age of 65 interested in establishing a Special Needs Trust, federal regulations state that a pooled trust is their only option.

What types of disabilities are allowed in a special needs trust?

An individual of any age with any type of mental, physical, developmental, or other disability can join the trust. No documentation is necessary unless on SSI benefits.

What is the difference between a first party and a third- party trust?

A First Party Trust is funded with the beneficiary’s own money or assets. Because of this, Medicaid has a lien on the funds and gets a portion of remaining assets upon the death of the beneficiary.

A Third-Party Trust is funded by somebody other than the beneficiary (family member, friend, etc.). There is no Medicaid Payback here – the donor gets to decide what to do with the remaining funds upon the death of the beneficiary.

What can the money in the special needs trust be used for?

Funds in the trust are used for the sole benefit of the beneficiary to help maintain or enhance their quality of life. Generally, the trusts can be used to pay for things that benefits do not cover. These supplemental expenses   include but are not limited to: medical and dental (not otherwise paid), clothing, telephone, internet, transportation, vacation, alternative therapies.

What cannot be purchased through a special needs trust?

Gifts, alcohol, pornography, gambling, guns, and other items that are not for the sole benefit of the beneficiary.

Is there a minimum required to establish a trust with plan?

No, we accept trusts of any dollar amount.