Establishing A Trust
How to set up a trust with Community Fund Ohio
Steps for Individuals and Families:
- Visit Community Fund Ohio’s website to find out more about our Trusts.
- Contact an attorney for assistance. Community Fund Ohio provides the Trust documents, but your attorney must complete and sign them. Setting up a Trust is an important financial step that could have legal and tax consequences. An attorney must advise you on whether a Community Fund Ohio Pooled Special Needs Trust is the right option.
- Make sure you understand that the Trust funds are invested and the Trust has annual and monthly fees.
- Select a Designated Advocate (such as a family member or service provider) who will handle communications, request money from the Trust for purchases, and receive account and tax statements.
- Determine how and when to fund the Trust. Your attorney can advise you on funding the Trust during your lifetime or in the future through life insurance or your estate plans.
- Have your attorney submit the signed Trust documents to Community Fund Ohio, along with the set-up fee.
Community Fund Ohio is happy to speak with potential clients and their attorneys. Please call our Administrative Office or any of our Associate Directors to schedule an appointment.
Steps for Attorneys:
- The attorney identifies the correct Joinder Application.
- The attorney completes the appropriate Joinder Application and the person establishing the trust initials and signs where needed.
- The attorney mails or delivers the originals to Community Fund Ohio’s Administrative Office along with the required supporting documents such as the W-9 and two proofs of identification. The type of supporting documents needed depends on whether it is a Master or Pooled Medicaid Payback Trust.
- Community Fund Ohio reviews every Joinder Application on the business day it is received.
- Community Fund Ohio will email the attorney with a confirmation that the Application has been accepted or with a list of missing or incorrect data that is needed before the Application can be processed. The attorney should make sure his or her email address is included on the Joinder Application.
- Once accepted by Community Fund Ohio, the Joinder Application will be reviewed and approved by our Trustee.
- A fully-executed copy will be sent to the person establishing the Trust (unless that person resides in a long-term care facility where receipt of mail may not be private), the attorney identified in the Joinder Application, and the Designated Advocate. The Designated Advocate will also receive a “Welcome Packet” with information on how to request a distribution. If the Trust is unfunded or has not reached the minimum distribution balance ($15,000 for Master Trusts and $5,000 for Pooled Medicaid Payback Trusts), Community Fund Ohio will wait to send the Welcome Packet until the Trust is distributable.
- If the Designated Advocate wishes to allow a third-party, such as an attorney, to speak with Community Fund Ohio regarding the Trust, the Designated Advocate must provide such consent in writing to Community Fund Ohio by electing that option in the Joinder Agreement or signing a separate written authorization. Community Fund Ohio has its own Authorization to Release Information form or will accept a written equivalent.
- Community Fund Ohio does not notify any government agency that a trust has been established, but it will provide an explanatory letter for benefit applications or redeterminations if requested by the Designated Advocate.
Attorneys should review the Attorney Instructions and the Attorney Acknowledgement Form before submitting a Joinder Application. If the attorney has additional questions, one of our Trust Development Coordinators, our Executive Director, Amanda M. Buzo, Esq., or any of our Associate Directors in our satellite offices will be happy to assist you. Attorneys are also welcome to fax a draft Joinder Application packet for review to our Administrative Office at 216.867.9783 and a response will be provided by a Trust Development Coordinator within two business days.