Planning for the future is important but many people put it off until it is too late because they
- Worry about getting or keeping public benefits,
- Don’t think they will have enough money to worry about,
- Have fears about the money being stolen by the people who are put in charge of it,
- Don’t want to ask too much of family members.
Traditional special needs trusts hold money for a person with a disability but these trusts take a lot of money to set up, are very costly to maintain, and are hard to understand.
For families wondering what will happen to their loved one when they are gone, or people trying to figure out how to protect their own future, a pooled special needs trust is an easier and lower cost way to take care of these concerns.
What is a pooled special needs trust?
Many people receive public benefits that put a strict limit on the amount of assets, or resources, that a person may have. A special needs trust offers a way to protect and manage resources for people with disabilities, without risking their benefits. There are differences that make the pooled trust better than a traditional trust for many people, particularly for families of modest means.
- The money in the trust is pooled (put together) and invested.
- Because the money is pooled, the investments earn more and the cost of management is lower.
- Even though the money is pooled for investment, we keep track of each person’s money and expenses separately.
- Pooling makes it possible to join the trust with less money. Other special needs trusts, which are set up with banks or trust companies, can take $300,000 – $500,000 to start.
- A pooled trust must be run by a non-profit organization.
- For over 70 years The Arc Michigan, a trusted non-profit organization, has worked to serve the needs of people with disabilities and their families.
- As a non-profit, we are able to keep our costs low.
- There are many laws that the pooled trust must follow to keep the money safe.
Who can put money in a trust account?
People who have money (such as from a sale, legal case, or will) that might cause them to lose their public benefits, can set up an account for themselves. Parents, family members, or others, can set up or contribute to a trust account, during their lives, as part of a will, with life insurance, or through another trust.
What can the trust money buy?
The money may only be spent on the person named on the trust account, but it can be spent on almost anything they need, or that will make them happier or more comfortable. The money cannot be spent on things (like cash, rent or groceries) that would cause them to lose their benefit check or Medicaid. Examples of things that the money can be spent on include home modifications, education, clothing, pets, vacations, transportation, furnishings, entertainment, etc.
How can my family or I join The Arc Michigan Pooled Amenities Trust?
The person or their family member fills out a document called a Joinder Agreement. The Joinder Agreement may also be added to wills or trusts as people do estate planning.
There are many benefits to our pooled trust.
- Easy to set up.
- Easy to use.
- No need to choose between public benefits and a more secure future.
- No need to call on family members to act as bankers.
- A trusted organization working for you.
To get more information about The Arc Michigan Pooled Amenities Trust you may email us at: