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Special Needs Trust Administration


The administration of a special needs trust generally involves managing, investing, and distributing trust assets in a manner that ensures that the best interests of the disabled individual are served, which generally means maximizing the beneficiary’s eligibility for important means-tested benefits such as SSI and Medicaid. Drafting and creating a special needs trust is in many ways the easy part of special needs trust planning. After a special needs trust is drafted and established, whether through a will, a stand-alone trust, another estate planning document, or court order, the real work begins. 


Administering a special needs trust can at times be quite simple and straightforward and require very little involvement by an attorney or other advisor. More often, however, the administration of a special needs trust can become complex and may require the ongoing involvement of a professional trustee, an investment advisor, an attorney, a social worker, a public benefits counselor, a tax advisor, or other professionals. Each situation is different, but the administration of a special needs trust can often require working with a court, state Medicaid agencies, the Social Security Administration, and other groups. 


At Stebler & Sulak, PLLC, we have considerable in-depth experience in the administration of special needs trusts, not only in Austin and Central Texas, but throughout the United States. We provide advice, counseling, and legal assistance to corporate fiduciaries, professional trustees, and individual family members who are undertaking the complex task of administering a special needs trust. When necessary, we provide in-depth legal representation of trustees to advise on complex issues as they arise in the administration of a special needs trust, or to represent the trustee in fulfilling duties to a court. We also provide “Trust Advisory Services,” which permit trustees to call for brief advice or guidance on the administration of a special needs trust at a reduced hourly rate. 

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