Sometimes a professional administrator is an excellent choice for your child’s Special Needs Trust. A professional administrator is usually experienced in the processes of the court. This can be beneficial when managing a trust.

In addition to paying bills, trustees will have a number of important administrative tasks. Filing tax returns and other duties are involved in managing the trust. So it’s important to select the right person to act as trustee for a Special Needs Trust.

Professional Administrator or Family Member?

Families often think a sibling is a natural first choice as a trustee because of family ties. But there are reasons why this may not work. The sibling may not have the time to devote to the role or they may not be financially savvy.

Sometimes there is no clear candidate ready or able to take on the role of trustee for a Special Needs Trust. If this is the case, then families should consider a professional administrator. There are organizations that administer trusts for clients. These organizations may be a bank’s trust department, a trust company, or even a non-profit agency dedicated to handling Special Needs Trusts.

There are a number of advantages to using professional trust administrators, including:

They are professionals.

Making the wrong decisions when managing a trust can have costly consequences. Your child might even lose the government benefits he or she needs. Professional trust administrators know the trust guidelines and Alaskan trust laws. They have the experience making decisions how to carry out the trust’s terms. Those are good reasons to select a professional trust administrator.

A Professional Administrator Can Be More Objective

Independent trustees don’t have personal ties to the family. Because of this distance and lack of vested interest in the fund they’re managing, they are better able to stick to the purpose of the trust. Plus, as an independent trustee, they are well versed in trust laws and can draw on them in making their management decisions.

Consistency

Family members may not always be available to manage the trust. Life changes happen. They may move away, become incapacitated or pass away. A trust organization tends to last longer. If a professional trust administrator leaves, the entity appoints another. You won’t have to think about naming a long line of successor family trustees.

The Responsibility May Be Too Much For Family Members

Making distributions, preparing accounting documents and filing taxes are time consuming tasks. Delegating these duties can take a heavy load off of the family member who is the trustee. Choosing a professional administrator can also prevent family conflict when members disagree. Taking this burden off of already busy family members allows them to spend more quality time with their disabled loved one.

Conclusion

Are you in the process of selecting trustees and successor trustees for your child’s Special Needs Trust in Alaska? If so, a professional administrator might be a good choice. We encourage you to contact our Anchorage-area attorneys.  We have extensive experience in this area. We’ve helped local families make this decision for years. We can help you, too. Call our office at (907) 334-9200 to schedule a consultation.

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"The Alaska Wills and Trusts Guidebook"

by Connie Aschenbrenner

 

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