Gupta Law Firm
Planning Ahead for Peace of Mind

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By: Sipi Gupta | August 30, 2019

Serving as a trustee requires administrative and technical skills in addition to strong interpersonal communication skills. Identifying the appropriate trustee is difficult in general; a Special Needs Trust (SNT) presents additional challenges. While most families will name a relative to serve as the trustee of their family’s SNT, they are often unaware of the specialized knowledge needed to succeed in the role. In many cases, it makes sense to have a family member involved in some capacity in the care of the individual with special needs. Another option is to select a professional trustee with specialized skills to serve as the trustee or co-trustee.

Ideal Qualities for a Trustee

In considering trustees to name for your SNT, evaluate your alternatives and look for a person or corporate trustee with respect to the following characteristics: 

  • No conflicts of interest
  • Superior administrative skills 
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Familiarity and empathy with the beneficiary
  • Experienced investor with financial knowledge and competence
  • Closeness in age to the beneficiary / longevity
  • Knowledge of public benefits rules and regulations / willingness to get help with government rules
  • Availability and time to serve
  • Desire and willingness to serve
  • Ability to stay informed of legal and policy changes as they relate to SNT administration