green arrow Left
Back to Resource Center
blonde woman with glasses writing at a desk

Your Trustee Toolkit: Using Technology to Ease the Trust Administration Process

Your Trustee Toolkit: Using Technology to Ease the Trust Administration Process

By

This article is apart of True Link’s SNT Expert Series. We have interviewed leaders knowledgeable in disability planning, Elder Law, and trust administration and will be sharing their expertise with you in a series of videos and posts. Note: the opinions and views expressed in these videos do not necessarily reflect those of True Link Financial or True Link Financial Advisors. This article is not intended to provide investment, legal, tax, accounting or medical advice.Before making decisions involving investing, legal, tax, accounting or medical concerns, you should consult appropriate professionals regarding your specific situation.

When Special Needs Attorney Scott Suzuki talks to family members who are considering becoming a trustee, he likes to tell them they are capable of taking on this role. They just need to have the right pieces in place. Some of the “pieces” that Suzuki refers to are professionals– CPAs, attorneys, case managers and other experts – who can help navigate specific aspects of trust administration.

But in today’s digital age, technology has also become an essential tool for those family members or friends who are acting as trustee for a loved one. In this post, we’ll share some of the ways our guest experts are using technology during the trust administration process.

1. Record keeping and Trust Accounting

Special Needs Trusts (also known as Supplemental Needs Trusts and SNTs) come with a lot of reporting requirements at the state and federal level. So keeping accurate, detailed records is an important part of your role as trustee. To help with this, Suzuki recommends using “a portal where you can keep all of your accounting information. You can make disbursements, you can see how things are being administered, all in the same spot.”

And these types of tools can be useful even if you do hire a CPA and/or attorney to help you fulfill your trustee duties. Suzuki explains: ”You can hand those records over to the attorney [and it can]save you a lot of time, save you a lot of money, a lot of confusion, [and] a lot of stress, just to be able to have all that all in one place.”  

<div style="padding:56.25% 0 0 0;position:relative;"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/877911633?badge=0&amp;autopause=0&amp;quality_selector=1&amp;player_id=0&amp;app_id=58479" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen; picture-in-picture" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" title="Using Technology to Fulfill your Role as Trustee"></iframe></div><script src="https://player.vimeo.com/api/player.js"></script>

2. Insights about Beneficiary Spending and Wellbeing

Using a platform or portal where you can access and review real-time data can also help you keep an eye on your loved one’s finances and gain insights into how you can help them. James Creel, the Senior Vice President of Capital First Trust Company shares, “the [True Link Platform] gives us more control to be able to see where [our beneficiaries are] spending money. It helps us anticipate what their needs are going to be because we see patterns of how they're spending their money and we can anticipate needs coming up.

<div style="padding:56.25% 0 0 0;position:relative;"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/877917607?badge=0&amp;autopause=0&amp;quality_selector=1&amp;player_id=0&amp;app_id=58479" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen; picture-in-picture" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" title="How the True Link Visa® Card can Help with Trust Administration"></iframe></div><script src="https://player.vimeo.com/api/player.js"></script>

3. Help Protect Public Benefits Eligibility

Experts like Suzuki and Creel also recommend trustee’s explore the True Link Visa® Prepaid Card for their beneficiaries. This True Link Visa Card can help those living with a disability make everyday purchases while potentially helping protect benefits eligibility for public benefits programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Supplemental Disability Income (SSDI). Custom spending rules set by an account administrator can help protect a loved one living with a disability from unintentionally making purchases that could jeopardize eligibility for important public benefits (e.g., food or shelter purchases).

4. Being able to Help in Emergencies

As a trustee, you also want to avoid giving the beneficiary cash as this can lead to a dollar for dollar reduction in SSI. But if an emergency pops up, you want to be able to help – even if you don’t live nearby or are out of town.  

Creel describes how the Capital First team uses the True Link Visa Card in these types of situations. “One of the requests we get is ‘my water heater broke’ or ‘my washer broke and I need a new one,’ and it becomes really easy for us to say, “go pick out a washer you want or go pick out the water heater you want, and tell us how much it costs. We'll load that money onto your card, then you just go to the store and buy it and have it installed.’ It's just a phenomenal way to handle emergencies.”

<div style="padding:56.25% 0 0 0;position:relative;"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/877910292?badge=0&amp;autopause=0&amp;quality_selector=1&amp;player_id=0&amp;app_id=58479" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen; picture-in-picture" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;" title="Providing Trust Funds to a Beneficiary in an Emergency"></iframe></div><script src="https://player.vimeo.com/api/player.js"></script>

In today's digital age, technology has become a powerful ally for loved ones to carry out their trustee duties. Click here if you want to learn more about the benefits of using True Link Visa Cards for people living with disabilities.


Want to watch these videos on Vimeo? Here are the links to the guest expert videos related to this topic:

Using Technology to Fulfill your Role as TrusteeScott Suzuki, Special Needs Attorney at Scott C. Suzuki Attorney at Law

How the True Link Visa Card can Help with Trust AdministrationJames Creel, Senior Vice President at Capital First Trust Company

Providing Trust Funds to a Beneficiary in an EmergencyJames Creel, Senior Vice President at Capital First Trust Company

Download
meeting with someone in wheelchair

Looking to learn more about True Link's financial solutions? Reach out directly to our team today.

Chat with our team

Keep reading

Austin, TX

Proud Sponsors of ASNP National Conference

Read more →
Minneapolis, MN

Join True Link in Minneapolis

Read more →
caregiver smiling holding elderly women hand

From Caregiver to Business Owner: How True Link Supports a Care Agency’s Commitment to Help Others

Read more →

Life’s complex, we get it - we’re here to help make things simpler

Sign up in just a few clicks

Order In Minutes