By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a New Jersey Special Needs Trust Attorney

Read the trust. Don’t assume anything.
You may need to read it twice, or even three times. I know that it is long and may be boring. But as the trustee you take directions from the trust itself, and second, from the laws of New Jersey. So you must read the trust. Each special needs trust is different.

Summarize the trust as you read it. Create notes for yourself. Look to see if the trust has a payback clause to the state Medicaid agency for benefits at the time of the beneficiary’s death. Does the trust require court approval of accountings, trustee fees, and attorney’s fees before you pay them? What is the standard by which you are to make distributions to beneficiaries? Is it a special needs distribution standard? You will sometimes find authority in the trust for a trustee to distribute principal and interest for support and medical expenses in addition to authority for special needs. Does the trust need to be modified to meet the legal requirements of New Jersey?

Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey special needs trust. I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns. You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at