Credit: Commonwealth Community Trust
Serving as a trustee to a special needs trust (really, to any kind of trust) is a difficult undertaking. The trustee must administer the trust so all involved parties receive everything they are entitled to. A misstep on that front can result in legal liability on the trustee’s part.
With such a difficult job before them, it’s clear trustees should be compensated– but how does that happen? Does it come straight out of the beneficiary’s pocket, or is the trustee compensated some other way?
To help clear this up, West Palm Beach elder law firm, Shalloway & Shalloway, has outlined the process of trustee compensation on their latest post. With special needs trusts being one of the firm’s areas of practice, firm president Mark Shalloway is able to clearly and concisely describe the different types of trust management and how they are compensated.
- Institutional Trustees: Trust companies and financial institutions have the experience and resources to keep track of a beneficiary’s money, how to follow trust documents, and how to follow the law. These companies usually charge a percentage or flat fee, depending on the size of the trust.
- Private/Individual Trustees: Private/individual trustees bring a personal touch to trust management. The best options for this type of trustee are lawyers are accountants, as they understand finances and the law. These professionals usually charge an hourly fee that can change based on the size of the trust.
Thankfully, both of these trustee options do not rely on out-of-pocket payments from the family. Compensation for these trustees comes out of the trust itself. This takes one concern off the beneficiary and their family’s shoulders.
Work with a knowledgeable, experienced elder law attorney to ensure that your loved one has properly planned for their future. This will help maximize their chances for qualifying their Medicaid, Social Security, or other needs-based governmental programs, allowing them to live out their life in comfort.