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Thread: Please Help!!

  1. #1

    Please Help!!

    First of all let me say wuz up!!! My names Dave and I'm a 31 yr old T3 para. I'm a single male w/o children from NJ and I was shot 5 yrs ago. I'm completely independent. I live on my own and drive w/ hand controls. Post injury I've depended on medicaid and medicare for my health coverage. Now, my question is. I was awarded a large sum of money (over 1.5 million dollars) due to the circumstances of my injury. I decided to receive some of the money in an annuity and some of it was placed in a Special Needs Trust. The annuity was set up to make monthly payments into the Trust for the rest of my life. All of this was the advice of my lawyers and family. This way I could keep my medicaid coverage.

    We are now three months into the annuity payments and I'm finding out that I can't spend any of the damn money. The Trust can't pay my bills, I can't get cash, I have to put down payments on purchases and then send the bill to the Trustee so that he can send a cashiers check to finalize the purchase (a pain in the a**)!!! The Trust can put a down payment on a home but can't make mortgage payments!!! I need to report to medicaid any purchase over $5000!!! I can't do anything spur of the moment!! Oh yeah!! Did I mention I can't work and make over $800 a month or I'll lose my medicaid. On the plus side, I can go on vacation twice a year for the rest of my life! If it's alright with my Trustee (some old banker I don't even know!!) !!

    My question: Is it possible to purchase private insurance w/ a pre-existing injury? I'm considering going to court to try and get out of this Trust. I don't know if it's a smart decision but I was told that this settlement would help me get my life back and I don't consider asking some guy for everything (like he's my father) living!!! This guy told my family I should probably be living in some type of home or instution!!! And I don't want to be handcuffed by medicaid for the rest of my life. My family is thinking about when I get older and that's great and all, but what about the time between now and then???

    ANYONE with suggestions PLEASE chime in!!! I need some opinions or some facts or maybe even a referral to someone in the NJ area who can help me or has knowledge about these things!

    Thanks!!

    Dave

  2. #2
    My knowledge about the rules and regulations on trusts are very limited, but I used to work in an industry that had a lot of trusts owning companies.

    Get with your trustee and talk about these concerns with him. It's always wise to approach these concerns clearheaded with the person controlling your funds before you react really harshly. Go in when you're calm, cool, collected, and be nice to the guy. He is doing or thinks he is doing what's best for you, afterall. If he's fully aware of the situation as the number fall, he SHOULD be able to re-order the funds within the rules of the trust in your favor.

    Keeping the majority of the money in those trusts is usually a good idea, but it's rare that there's that kind of limitations on spending. If the guy is preventing you from being able to access the funds for reasons that aren't good ones, then in theory you should be able to get a different trustee, or have the banks involved get MORE involved and step in on your behalf. I have seen the Trustee of trusts be re-named on more than one occaision. It wasn't a quick thing, but it did at least happen.

    There are very strict rules in place on what can and cannot be done with trusts. Familiarize yourself with those rules first (They're determined by the bank holding the account(s), local regulations, state regulations, and federal regulations. Look up a local banking regulation office ( http://www.sec.gov/answers/bankreg.htm ) and ask the person who answers the phone if they can send you any information on the rules governing trust funds) Also, talk with the Trustee banker, other officials at the bank, and then, if necessary, a lawyer. Don't go to a lawyer first if it's not already 100% obvious that you need to. The bank will recoil and tighten down the purse strings even more if you start talking legal recourse, especially if it's the case that the Trustee is deciding for whatever reason that you're making a bad decision. (I do know that some trust funds have the trustee able to decide whether or not to allocate funds from the trust based on how good of a decision the Trustee thinks the person is making.)

    I wish you the best!

  3. #3
    Welcome to CC.

    Learn how your trust works. Learn everything there is to know about it. Don't allow others to be a filter for how it is or isn't structured. IT's your money. You learn how it works.

    Your trust can best work for you when you know what it can and can't do, how purchases and expenses will and won't be paid.

    Meet with the bank/broker/attorney/whomever handles your fund. Get in writing from her/him how to proceed with what you need, with your specific needs.

    Don't dis those two vacays a year. You'll appreciate those more than you know given a little time.

    I wish you the best.

  4. #4
    I don't know a thing about trust funds, sad to say. But it does jump out, what you said about the trustee believing you should be in an institution. You need to meet with him, shake his hand, tell him you drove yourself to the meeting. He can't serve you if he's operating under misconceptions, and it sounds like he definitely is.

    It's not too much to expect your mortgage to be paid with your own money...

    You can burn thru $1.5 mil pretty quick these days. Be sure and listen to what he says to you with an open mind. I suspect he has your best interests in mind, but he needs to know you and how disabled/abled you are. You are smart to keep yourself insured. Never let that go. One catastrophic incident and $1.5 mil is gone forever, w/out insurance.

    Free advice: Don't get married w/out a prenup, no matter how hot she is!

  5. #5
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    Hmmm, just squirreling that away outside of the trust at 4% interest for safe and secure "investing" results in 60K a year. Getting some sort of job with major medical coverage should take care of the Medicade BS (or could you be ok with just Medicare as you are disabled? I'm not sure how that works though). So a "whatever" job to occupy some time and get insurance and that 4% should carry you through life doing whatever amuses you. Seems you should be set at any rate, special needs trust seems a bit excessive from where I'm sitting.

  6. #6
    I have a SNT (Special Needs Trust) and I think the law's vary/change from state to state or in some cases year-to-year. I am not sure where you go with this except to say that you should talk with the attorney who set up the SNT. I did a Google search to understand the difference between a revocable and a irrevocable trust fund. OTOH, Jeanette makes a good point about being on amicable terms with the person who is controlling your funds.

    Good luck!
    The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom
    --General George Patton

    Complex problems need to be solved collectively.
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  7. #7
    How come family members are not the trustee(s)? A friend of mine here in Ga. has her dad as trustee and then sister. I know that she paid her house off and her dad has a checkbook linked to the acct. They are in total control whereas you are handcuffed.. by a stranger. A down payment? Why not pay the house off initially and save being raped by a mortgage co? I can't see SNT's being too different on home purchases from state to state. Sounds like you need to call your SNT lawyer who set this up. Did Medicaid not make you pay them back their coverages thus far? They did to her and you better check on this as that's not a state to state case.





    Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches. It's more like a jar of jalapenos--What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

    If you ain't laughing, you ain't living, baby. Carlos Mencia

  8. #8
    Thanks for all your replies!!

    I know that 1.5 mil can go pretty fast nowadays, but I'm actually gonna see alot more than that. I actually got a little more than 1.6 mil after paying the lawyers and paying my dept to medicaid. I put 300K of that in the Trust and a little more than 1.3 mil in the annuity. I receive approx. 5K /month and the payments are set to increase by 3% every year. Depending on how long I live I should see around triple of what I put in. That's not even including any investment moves.

    The Trust is set up so that I have co-trustees. One is tied to the financial instution that deals with the money and the other is my Mother. Unfortunately whenever I want anything I need to get the approval of both. My mother is not a problem at all. I love her to death and if she was the only person I had to deal with this would be fine. And as far as getting to know the man. He seems like a good guy. It's just that he seems more interested in investment options than he is in getting my bills paid. Taking care of me has been a financial hardship on my family for the last 5 years and it doesn't make sense that I should have all this money but still need help paying my rent and bills.

    I'm pretty sure that no matter what I'll be covered by medicare. Being as though I'm permanently disabled and ones finances have no bearing on whether or not your covered. What medicare covers? I don't know. I think they pay for the majority of my prescriptions. It just seems that all the rules and regulations of this Trust are more crippling than my injury. I really just want to be 100% independent while I still can be. The fact that I have no wife or child to support I can't see myself going broke, but again I really don't know much about this stuff.

    I know one thing: Stressing about this is gonna give me an ulcer!!!!!!!! I don't wanna make the wrong decision!!!

    Thanks again!!!

    Dave

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DVision
    On the plus side, I can go on vacation twice a year for the rest of my life! If it's alright with my Trustee (some old banker I don't even know!!) !!
    I called my friend and spoke to her family. I read your info. and red flags went off everywhere. Some things may differ from NJ to GA, but she can take as many trips yearly as she wishes. Also, they hit the roof when I told them that a stranger was linked to your trust. You need to read your trust agreement as I bet this banker is drawing a salary. If so, he is a parasite as your mom SHOULD be sole trustee of a irrevocable trust. Is he providing you with a monthly report?

    You do realize that by having your money in any annuity you are playing the market? She put her money in a 5% checking acct. where it's safe.

    Why private insurance? Do you realize what, if any company will, the monthly premiums would be? Out of this world... What's wrong with being on Medicare/Medicaid? It's your entitlement.. Not trying to discourage you from working, but on 5K/month I'd be enjoying life by traveling and sightseeing than being stuck in a cubicle. Look at it this way.. what you earn will pay for your private ins... what did you gain? Hopefully you'll earn much more, just some food for thought. I'm sure I'll catch some flack, but I'd be on the lake saying, ''Cha-Ching!!''





    Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches. It's more like a jar of jalapenos--What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

    If you ain't laughing, you ain't living, baby. Carlos Mencia

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