The inheritance is held in a Special Needs Trust. What kind of records do I need to keep, where can I find services to help with care and stroke recovery, what unexpected events do I need to be aware of?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Consult the attorney that setup the trust. There are special rules that will apply. My comment? Document, document, document on everything, health and financial! Attorney fees will be paid by the trust.
Helpful Answer (1)

Are you the trustee of the Special Needs Trust, as well, or are you simply POA (health, financial or both) who will need to request funds from the trustee?

Your duties and responsibilities as POA are often provided in the POA (depending on the state). More generally, the law in all states requires that you act in the principal's interests and not your own when acting as an agent. You should keep records of all duties performed on behalf of the principal in case the principal or a court asks for an accounting of the agent's activities. That applies to both a financial POA and healthcare POA.

If you are the trustee, too, the same applies - you are responsible to act in both the trust's best interests and the trust's beneficiary's best interest, and to use the funds only as permitted by the terms of the trust (usually, special needs trusts are broad - health care, bills, housing, entertainment, etc.).

You may want to meet with an attorney (elder care law specialist, preferably) if you'd like to have better information as to the terms of the POA and trust, and what you are permitted/not permitted to do, and what you should do, especially if at any time Medicaid qualification is needed.

You may want to read your documents - many state laws, depending on the POA, have "Agent Notice" requirements which outline your responsibilities.

If you are stepping in and will be taking actions regularly on your relative's behalf, you may want to provide her bank and other financial entities a copy of your POA and/or Trust Certification. You may want to open (if it wasn't done already) a banking account for the trust. If you are only POA, you could also open an account for both you and your relative - I don't happen to have that, I use my POA to ask the bank to cut checks, etc., but I see joint accounts frequently when I review POAs for disbursements, etc. at work.

If you have health care POA, I'd make sure her regular medical providers have a copy, and frankly, I carry a copy of mine around with me at all times, and have scanned copies of all documents on my laptop that I can send whenever requested.

I keep very detailed records of my actions - I just don't want anyone questioning my judgment, so everything is well documented to show that there is no abuse of my position and everything spent is for my MIL's benefit, health and well-being.

As to finding services, you can find services through any number of websites (including this site, I believe) - AARP, A Place for Mom, etc. Internet searches (including Google Maps) will also give you names and locations of services. You can then look at ratings and reviews for these service providers no matter what type (home, skilled nursing, assisted living).

If you've not had a conversation with your relative, it may be a good time to talk to discuss her expectations as to any end-of-life issues - have funeral arrangments already been made and prepaid? Does she have a living will as to her end of life treatment? Can she tell you what she wants for herself so that you can take that information into consideration when making decisions?

I'm sure I'm missing a lot of stuff, but that's the beauty of this forum - someone else will be by with even more information. I tend to be stuck in the legal details because that's my real-life job!
Helpful Answer (1)

I'd get all the documents, read them carefully and consult with an attorney familiar with those types of matters. They can answer your questions and provide you information. Good idea to get all the information up front.
Helpful Answer (0)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter