A special needs trust administration is an on-going trust administration that lasts for the lifetime of the beneficiary. While the trustee still has all of the same duties and responsibilities of a trustee in a typical trust administration, there is the added responsibility of making sure that the distributions from the trust conform to the guidelines of the trust, which most often require the trustee to make these distributions in a manner to preserve the public benefits that are available to the beneficiary.
There are several types of special needs trusts, the trustee of each of these trusts needs to be aware of the current laws and changes to the laws of each of the public benefits being received by the beneficiary. In some instances, most often when the trust is created by a court, the trustee must prepare and file accountings with the court, but every trustee will have some annual accounting responsibilities.
While many trustees do not need the on-going services of an attorney, it is advisable to see a qualified attorney upon appointment as trustee, or better yet, when considering accepting such an appointment. The trustee needs to understand the type of special needs trust they will be administering, the types of benefits that are being received by the beneficiary, the discretion for distributions, the relationship and powers of the Trust Protectors/Trust Advisory Committee, the requirements for investments, bonds and accountings, whether they are entitled to compensation, how they can resign, and other provisions that may be unique to the trust.