When we sent out our last Distribution Requests, we received one back marked “Undeliverable”. The Personal Representative (Mike) had moved and did not provide a forwarding address. We called the care facility where our beneficiary Bob was living and they told us they had “not seen Mike in a while”. This was a problem because we were sure Bob would have needs from his trust but did not have a way to tell us. We reviewed the trust and saw Bob’s brother Mike had been identified as his Personal Representative, but there was not a back-up representative. We called the care center and spoke to the administrator who looked up Bob’s record and found another brother. We called the other brother and found out the reason we could not reach Mike was that he too was now living in a care facility. Fortunately, the second brother agreed to serve as Bob’s representative.

This demonstrates not only the importance of keeping the Disability Foundation informed of contact changes but also in identifying back up representatives. This example is not uncommon.

The role of the Personal Representative is a crucial partner in managing the trust to make sure the beneficiary has their needs met. The responsibility of the Personal Representative cannot be understated. Law specifically provides for a Personal Representative to clearly demonstrate the beneficiary is not receiving unearned income, which would put SSI or Medicaid benefits at risk.

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