Simply put, the goal of trust administration at Community Trust is quality of life for our beneficiaries, understood as comfort, independence and dignity for each individual. Our front-line team is comprised of Trust Administrators who oversee account transactions, and Clinical Relationship Coordinators, each of whom is a licensed Social Worker. Other officers and administrative support staff also join in this work whenever beneficiary needs or other circumstances require additional help.
The team’s job is, above all, to establish and maintain the best relationship that we can with each beneficiary. This means getting to know the person, explaining the steps for requesting distributions, communicating with family and other responsible parties who are part of the beneficiary’s support network, and developing plans for using the funds of the trust account to enhance quality of life as much as we can for each beneficiary.
Administration is a complex process. In order to do it right, our Trust Administrators must consider, among many other contributing factors—
- The beneficiary’s age and clinical prognosis;
- The amount of assets in the account;
- Public benefits that the beneficiary receives, and how the eligibility requirements of those programs may be impacted by trust distributions;
- Views and recommendations of the beneficiary and/or responsible parties as to how the account assets might best be used;
- Any medical needs that Medicaid and Medicare can’t cover;
- Legal, Social Work, tax accounting and other professional services that the beneficiary may require;
- The beneficiary’s money-management issues, if any;
- Other sources of emotional or financial support for the beneficiary.
In addition to daily conversations about many of the above factors, the Trust Administrators and Clinical Relationship Coordinators meet formally in weekly Rounds for discussion of individual cases. These meetings include clinical reviews, prioritizing of needs, estimates of spending rates and likely costs in the future, input on case challenges, and other matters that help us to administer each trust responsibly. Rounds also helps Community Trust to set policy for particular kinds of distributions, as well as to gain the perspectives of other seasoned professionals into how we can best support each beneficiary.
“Administration” means all of the things that a trustee must do in order to ensure that the funds it holds for each individual are managed professionally, and used wisely and compassionately. Sound administration is our commitment as an organization, and our assurance to each beneficiary.
Infrastructure for Administration
Community Trust’s offices are located in Andover, Massachusetts, but our work is done all over the state, through visits by our Clinical Relationship Coordinators and through telephone and e-mail communications with beneficiaries, responsible parties and vendors who provide services to beneficiaries in their homes or facilities.
Sophisticated trust administration software keeps track of each individual trust account, whether it is in the Pooled Trust program or is held in an individual SNT. This software provides daily account valuation at the end of each business day. Transactions are posted by our senior Administration and Finance staff and carried out by our custodian of funds, Wilmington Trust Company, and processed through its parent company, M & T Bank.
The Community Trust Board of Directors obtains annual audits of trust operations through Johnson O’Connor Feron & Carucci, LLP, a mid-sized accounting firm located in Wakefield, Massachusetts. Annual Financial Reports are produced by Anthony & Dodge, a small accounting firm located in Hamilton, Massachusetts.