General Information

Why open a Pooled Trust or Individual Trust Account?

Pooled trusts and Individual Trust accounts enable seniors and persons with disabilities to set aside their own funds for enhanced independence, comfort, and dignity, while remaining eligible for benefits from Medicaid, SSI and other public programs.

What kind of expenses can the trust be used for?

Typical uses of a pooled trust account may include clothing, personal items, social activities, dental and eye care, companionship, improved medical supplies, telephone, cable television, private fiduciary fees, and many other personal needs. To read more, visit Uses of Disability Trusts.

What is a Clinical Relationship Coordinator?

Clinical Relationship Coordinators are licensed social workers with lots of experience helping people who have both physical and mental disabilities. As a part of the Community Trust team, CRCs apply their clinical backgrounds to support the relationships that the Trust Administrators have with you.

What is a Trust Administrator?

Your Trust Administrator is a professional whose job is to keep records in order, inquire about the beneficiary’s circumstances, make judgments about the ability of the trust account to meet specific support needs, and apply this information to make decisions about distributions. Trust Administrators are assisted by input from Clinical Relationship Coordinators, investment council and administrative assistants, and cases are reviewed in weekly meetings, called “Rounds”, where input from the entire professional staff is considered.

How are funds Managed and Invested?

Community Trust ensures the safety of the funds it holds in trust through relationships with strong financial institutions. Our custodian of funds is Wilmington Trust Company, a subsidiary of M & T Bank, which is a $130B full‐service financial institution. Records and individual trust transactions and accounts are managed by Fiduciary Technology Partners, a Connecticut company that handles accounts for 90 non‐profit foundations with over $50B in assets.

Community Trust obtains independent financial advice from Duffield Financial Group of Concord, Massachusetts. Investment goals for all but a small number of individual trusts are aimed at preservation of capital and generation of income. Most of the Pooled Trust accounts have a relatively short time horizon, and as a result there is almost no exposure to the equity markets in our portfolio. We maintain relatively high liquidity, and since 2014 our only investments have been in very short‐term bond mutual funds.

Individual Special Needs Trusts are treated differently, because they often involve younger beneficiaries. Unlike Pooled Trust accounts, individual trust investments are not managed as a combined fund, but rather are invested separately on the basis of relevant facts about the beneficiary and his or her circumstances. Each trust is reviewed and assigned its own investment objectives, which may include income, growth and/or preservation of principal.

Tax & Fee Information

Does my trust account pay taxes?

Probably not, but for more complete information, please see our Taxes page. Community Trust sends Grantor Letters as early in the tax season as we can, so that beneficiaries who file tax returns will have this information in time to include it when they file. Sometimes, for reasons that we cannot control, the letters are delayed. Beneficiaries and their responsible parties are urged to communicate with Community Trust during tax season if they have urgent circumstances regarding tax filing.

What do I do when a beneficiary has a tax liability?

Any taxes that are owed in connection with trust assets can be paid out of the trust account, upon request.

What are the Fees associated with Trust Services?

The fees assessed by Community Trust pay for the costs of operating its trust programs. Services for most individual trusts are priced below cost. Professional investment advice is included in all trustee fees, as is the cost of our Clinical Relationship Coordinator and all other costs of administration, other than tax returns, which are billed at actual cost. Fees are billed at the end of each quarter (March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31), based upon the principal balance of the trust on the last day of the quarter. The amount billed each quarter is one‐fourth of the annual fee. For specific fee amount and other details, please review our Fees page.

Will my trust account pay for funeral and burial expenses?

Pre-Needs Funeral Contract and Burial Expense Account?

In order for the trust to qualify as exempt under Medicaid and SSI, neither costs of funeral and burial nor payments for items or services provided during or after the beneficiary’s lifetime can be paid out of the pooled trust account. Therefore, Community Trust urges every beneficiary to purchase a pre‐need funeral contract and other burial‐related assets, before or immediately upon establishing a disability trust.

What happens to funds remaining in the account after the death of the trust client?

Pooled Trust accounts (but not individual Special Needs Trusts) automatically retain a portion of the amount remaining in the account when the beneficiary passes away. This amount goes to defray costs and to support the charitable mission of the trustee, which includes, for Community Trust, our public guardianship mission. While Medicaid laws permit the entire balance to be retained, Community Trust retains a varying amount, but not more than 15% (see schedule, below) for these purposes:

Schedule of Trust-Retained Amounts

Duration of Trust Prior to DeathPercentage Retained
Up to one year:5%
More than one year, but less than two years:10%
Two years plus:15%