As a trial attorney, you want to provide the best possible service to your clients and that includes securing their quality of life after the settlement is over. In some cases, that means taking action before the settlement is paid. If your client is awarded compensation for an injury and is eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, the settlement may cause them to lose the benefits they need.
A pooled trust allows beneficiaries to become or stay eligible for benefits like Medicare and Medicaid. This allows the money in the trust to cover their other needs that government benefits won’t cover, including supplemental nursing care and certain medical procedures.
Pooled Trust Facts
Pooled trusts are administered by nonprofit organizations offering professional management of many beneficiaries’ funds. Contrary to how it might sound, the organization of a pooled trust does keep track of the individual accounts. The funds the nonprofit organization manages are pooled for investment purposes, but each sub-account belongs to a person who is disabled according to Social Security. Because the nonprofit organization manages the money from the settlement for the beneficiaries, they can maintain their eligibility for government benefits.
Other benefits of pooled trusts:
- Lower fees: Pooled trusts are managed with lower fees than stand-alone trusts.
- Small settlements welcome: Because there are other funds in the pool, settlements as low as a few thousand dollars are accepted.
- No age limit: Stand-alone special needs trusts have an age limit of 65. If your client is 65 or over, they can only create a pooled trust; they can no longer create a stand-alone trust.
Using a settlement company that is knowledgeable in the administration of pooled trusts can protect trial attorneys from malpractice suits if their clients’ funds aren’t properly managed.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.