Sections of Chapter 402 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri that govern the Midwest Special Needs Trust (MSNT) operations were substantially revised in the 2011 legislative session. The revisions took effect on August 28, 2011. Please be advised that trust accounts established through execution of the trust documents currently available are subject to the statutory revisions. The MSNT board is in the process of revising the MSNT trust documents through which trust accounts may be established in order to reflect and conform to the statutory revisions, but the revised documents are not yet available. For these reasons, you may wish to review Chapter 402, Sections 402.199 through 402.208, available via the internet at http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/chapters/chap402.htm Should you have questions, please contact our office.
New Fax Number
Please fax documents to our office using our new fax number: 573-303-5866.
MSNT Expands Area Served
In the past, only citizens of Missouri were eligible to establish trusts with MSNT. Recently, state statutes in Missouri have been revised to allow MSNT to accept special needs trusts for citizens of seven states surrounding Missouri. Individuals with disabilities or their family members may establish a special needs trust with an initial deposit of $500 plus an enrollment fee. Additional amounts may be added to the trust at any time.
Trust Agreement Revisions made due to Social Security Administration Requirements
New guidelines were issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in November, 2010 regarding requirements for termination of special needs trusts. MSNT has worked with representatives of SSA to develop revised language in the MSNT trust agreement that was acceptable to SSA. The changes were formally approved by the MSNT Board on 4/30/2011.
Pursuant to the authority of the MSNT Board of Trustees to amend the Master trust as specified in Section 7.1 on page 8 of the Self-Settled Master Trust Agreement, beneficiaries and co-trustees have been notified of these revisions which are effective immediately. You may view and download the pages of the trust which were affected by these changes by clicking here. These pages should be inserted into your copy of the trust.
Money Market Portfolio Investment Option Available
At its meetings in October of 2010 and January of 2011, the MSNT Board of Trustees authorized changes to investment options for MSNT accounts by adding a sixth portfolio option. The Money Market portfolio has been added in response to feedback from donors, co-trustees and life beneficiaries. You may access this document by clicking here. Add this document to page 13 (self-settled) or page 16 (third party) of your trust agreement.
Collection of Administrative Fees
Beginning in January, 2011, administrative fees are posted monthly for each MSNT account. The quarterly statement will continue to provide a quarterly fee summary in the Miscellaneous line of the statement. Due to the transition to monthly fee collection, the statement for January-March, 2011 included administrative fees for the last quarter of 2010 plus fees for January and February of 2011. This was a one-time occurrence and future statements will again reflect administrative fees for a single quarter.
When MSNT serves as the sole trustee for an account, there is an additional fee of $350 per year. In past years, the full sole trustee fee has been charged each December. Beginning in 2011, half of the fee will be collected in June and the remainder in December.
MSNT Accepts Medicaid Payback Trusts
MSNT now accepts special needs trusts established with the beneficiary’s own resources. These trusts are often referred to as Medicaid Payback Trusts. For example, an individual with a disability who receives an inheritance may place those funds into a special needs trust and continue to be eligible for SSI and Medicaid benefits. This is a terrific advantage for Medicaid recipients who otherwise must “spend-down” resources to meet the resource guidelines for eligibility. Funds held in a special needs trust may be used in accordance with SSI and Medicaid regulations to supplement monthly income from benefits. At the death of the beneficiary, the state has the right to claim remaining proceeds in the trust to offset medical expenses incurred by the state.
SSI Regulations On Countable Income Now Less Restrictive
The Social Security Administration has issued new regulations for “Determining Income and Resources Under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program”. The regulations are effective March 9, 2005. The new regulations are available on the web at https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0500835400. Changes have been made in three areas: 1) The new regulations eliminate clothing from the definition of income and in-kind support; 2) the dollar value limit for the exclusion of household goods and personal effects has been eliminated; and 3) one automobile will be excluded if it is used for transportation of the individual or a member of the individual’s household.