Sometimes, when a parent creates a third-party special needs trust, he or she does not want the entire burden of decision making to fall on the trustees. Or sometimes the trustees were chosen for their financial and investment savvy and background and they do not necessarily know how to handle the day-to-day life of the child with special needs. In these cases, the appointment of a Trust Advisory Committee by the trust creator may be appropriate.
A Trust Advisory Committee is a group of people (typically 3-5 people) chosen by the person creating the trust or chosen by the trustee who are responsible for advising and making distribution requests on behalf of the special needs person to the trustee. The committee is designed to provide insight, advice and information to the trustee with respect to the special needs person’s residential placement, emotional, social, education, medical and therapeutic issues. The committee usually consists of family members, a social worker, care manager, accountant, attorney, nurse, friends, etc. These advisors have no legal authority over the trust, but the trustee is required to consult with them.