View Full Version : Do independent advocates exist?
By independent, I mean someone who will provide a particular service to a person for a fee. I'm thinking of someone who would agree to assume that official title for purposes of a trust fund for one person, and perhaps for someone else assist them with getting benefits to which they are entitled, and for yet a third help them arrange to get estimates on auto insurance and select suitable coverage.
Does such a creature exist? And if so, where do I find them?
05-25-2004, 05:15 PM
You really should probably consult a lawyer for guidance on properly setting up a trust fund. Lawyers are $$$, but a stitch in time can save nine some days.
That being said, it almost feels like you're looking for a social worker for said individual. Are you planning on providing this trust for a minor person, or mentally impaired person here? Are you just trying to hire a "life coach" to get your trustee through the age of say... 25 ?
Maybe if the people reading this thread knew the answers to the above, we could provide better guidance.
I provide all the above-listed functions at one time or another in my job. However, I need to find an independent advocate who would accept the responsibility for making application to withdraw money from a trust fund as needed by the beneficiary. It's a conflict of interest for me to do it, but it seems unfair to have the beneficiary have to pay an attorney every time he wants to make a purchase.
It's not a question of setting up the trust fund, but naming the person who will handle the paperwork and ensure that the money is being spent in the best interest of the beneficiary.
What I wanted to know was if such a person - an independent advocate - is a service that can be purchased. If not, is there a particular reason? If so, does anyone know where I can go to find one?
I'm asking more questions than necessary because it's a need I'm seeing that in my opinion isn't addressed adequately by many/most service agencies. I might want to try something like this myself, since I do it for a living now anyway.
05-25-2004, 10:29 PM
The formal title of the person you are looking for is "Trustee".
Normally, the trust fund will name a person as trustee, to perform the duties you have mentioned. In particular the duty of disbursing trust funds to the "beneficiary".
I find it very unusual that you have contact with a trust fund that does not name a trustee.
There are few, if any formal requirments for the position of trustee, and none that I can recall immediately, apart perhaps from excluding a person who would be put into a conflict of interest.
However, it is usual in most places to have a "public trustee". That is, a government office that will exercise the duties you are considering.
I cannot really refer you to the precise office where you are, or give you the precise name it uses but I would be very surprised if there was no such government service you could use.
Thank you. I'll try to find out if there is such a thing in my location.
The trust fund is a group fund set up for the benefit of many people. In order to join in the trust, beneficiaries must name a person (called in the forms the 'designated advocate') who can evaluate the request for funds by the beneficiary to ensure that it meets trust requirements and then complete the request for funds paperwork. One trustee can't be named for all beneficiaries of the trust because they would not be able to make the evaluation from the viewpoint of someone who is familiar with the beneficiary's life, much like a representative payee who is expected to be in close enough contact with the actual Social Security recipient to be able to determine what is needed and ensure that funds are available in a timely manner.
05-25-2004, 11:06 PM
My pleasure, Suse.
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