Choosing the Successor Trustee of a Special Needs Trust

When you have a child with a disability, you advocate tirelessly on his behalf to ensure that he lives the best possible life. It is scary to think that your child will likely outlive you and may be left with nobody to care for him. However, when that happens, a special needs trustee can step in to fill your shoes. Choosing the right person to serve as successor trustee over this type of trust is crucial.

Who to Consider for Trustee of a Special Needs Trust

Since a special needs trust is set up so that the beneficiary does not control the trust assets, choosing the right trustee is especially important. You may wish to consider the following types of individuals:

  1. Someone who has a close relationship with the beneficiary of the trust. This can often be beneficial since it will make the beneficiary feel more comfortable. It is also important to consider whether the person lives locally. For example, if your beneficiary resides in Anaheim, you want to be sure that the trustee is close by.
  2. Someone with a background administering special needs trusts. These trusts are unique in that control of the assets is given to someone else (the trustee) with the direction that they be used to take care of the beneficiary. It is important to understand how and when these assets should be used when the beneficiary has special needs.
  3. Someone who is a strong advocate on behalf of the beneficiary. An individual who advocates for those with disabilities and will look out for the beneficiary’s best interests is the ideal choice.
  4. Someone with at least some background in managing finances. Often, just knowing enough to know that you need help in the form of a financial advisor is sufficient.
  5. Someone who is a professional trustee. Professional trustees have extensive experience handling trust administrations and can ensure that important tasks such as the filing of tax returns, the issuing of notices, and the maintenance of trust assets are carried out properly.

Interested in learning more about creating special needs trusts? We encourage you to contact us today using the live chat feature on our website.