What is a Pooled Special Needs Trust

Legal Article

What is a Pooled Special Needs Trust

A pooled special needs trust (also known as a pooled trust or a community trust) is a type of trust that is designed to hold the assets of individuals with disabilities, while still allowing them to qualify for government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Pooled trusts are administered by non-profit organizations that pool the assets of multiple beneficiaries into a single trust.

Pooled trusts are typically used by individuals with disabilities who do not have a family member or friend who is willing or able to act as a trustee. The non-profit organization that administers the trust will manage the assets and disburse funds on behalf of the beneficiary for their benefit.

There are two main types of pooled trusts: (1) payback trusts and (2) non-payback trusts. Payback trusts require that any remaining funds in the trust be used to reimburse the government for any Medicaid benefits that the beneficiary received during their lifetime. Non-payback trusts do not have this requirement and any remaining funds can be used for the benefit of the trust beneficiary or distributed to charitable organizations.

Pooled trusts can be a useful tool for individuals with disabilities who want to ensure that their assets are managed in a way that does not disqualify them from government benefits. If you are considering establishing a pooled trust, you should consult with an attorney or other professional to determine whether a pooled trust is the right choice for you and to help you navigate the process.