Planning for the Future:
Hope Network Foundation Pooled Trust
Protecting the financial well-being of individuals with disabilities
The Hope Network Foundation Pooled Trust gives families and guardians peace of mind. They know their assets are protected and that their loved one will enjoy the highest quality of life today and in the future.
The Foundation can also assist you to make a tax-saving gift through your will, trust or other estate plans that will support the future of care for individuals with disabilities. For more information please contact Greg McAleenan via email
or call 616.248.5199.
The Hope Network Foundation set up a Pooled Trust in 1999. A Pooled Trust helps people who are responsible for loved ones with disabilities ensure the long-term quality of life for that individual. Monies put in the Trust do not count as assets and don’t impact government benefits such as Medicaid, SSI, food assistance, or housing subsidies. Pooled Trust monies are invested and, using good investment strategies, can actually grow the value of an individual account.
Among its many advantages, a Pooled Trust:
- Ensures long-term care even after the death of a caregiver or guardian.
- Protects assets over the $2,000 maximum allowed by SSI or Medicaid.
- Provides extra items and services not covered by SSI or Medicaid.
- Makes lawsuit settlements, SSI back payments, and inheritances available in a way that does not affect Medicaid payments, etc.
Emma, 28, has developmental disabilities. She was recently in an accident and received a $25,000 settlement. Emma’s parents are retired and struggle to make sure all of Emma’s needs are met, so this settlement first appeared to be the answer to their prayers. Was it? It depends on whether or not Emma is part of a Pooled Trust.
- If she isn’t in a Pooled Trust, the settlement could immediately jeopardize all of her government aid through SSI and Medicaid. The aid will not be reinstated until Emma has spent $23,000 of the settlement.
- If she is in a Pooled Trust, the settlement will be protected. Emma and her family can use the Pooled Trust to help pay for some of the extra therapies she needs to completely recover from her injuries.
- Money in the Trust can also be used for long term benefits and support her quality of life.
Money can be used for items and services not covered by government payments such as:
- Recreational outing
- Trips to stay in touch with siblings
- Dental care
- Supplemental medical care
- Diagnostic services
- Pay for additional caregivers not otherwise covered
Parents, grandparents, guardians, the individuals with disabilities themselves, or a judge can establish a Trust sub-account. We encourage you to consult your own legal advisor about being part of the Pooled Trust.
To join the Pooled Trust, contact the Trust Representative. The Representative and Hope Network Foundation staff decide whether to accept the sub-account based on the feasibility of administering it. The base amount to set up an account varies with individual circumstances. Participants must sign an agreement and pay a nominal fee to join the Trust. The Pooled Trust currently holds funds for over 130 individuals and has over $2 million under investment.
The Hope Network Foundation:
- Manages each account separately while pooling the funds for optimal investment position and financial gain.
- Handles most of the required tax filings and fund administration.
- Makes payments from the fund for the benefit of the individual being served.
- Provides an annual summary of activity for each account.
- Oversees an annual audit of each account
The individual or guardian simply sends a written request to the Trust Representative who assures that the request meets legal and Pooled Trust criteria. If so, the bank holding the account issues the appropriate check.
When a loved one dies, any remaining money in the sub-account goes to a general Pooled Trust account. Here it is protected and can be used for generations to help other individuals with disabilities.
Daniel Blauw, Attorney at Law
Pooled Trust Representative