Frequently Asked Questions
August 20, 2016
How do I open an account?
A Trust account is opened by completing a Joinder Agreement and submitting it to the Trust.
Who requests the payments from the Trust?
A co-trustee is appointed by the person completing the Joinder Agreement and the co-trustee represents the beneficiary by requesting funds for the needs of the beneficiary. The co-trustee is usually a family member.
What are the fees?
A. After submitting the Joinder Agreement, the following fees are assessed:
o Initial Enrollment and Approval Fee – A one-time $900.00 fee paid for the creation of the account and the approval process with the Georgia Department of Community Health.
B. After the sub-account is funded, the following fee is assessed:
o Annual Administrative and Investment Fee – During the year the trust will:
1) make the necessary deposits and disbursements;
2) maintain a separate account for the beneficiary;
3) invest the excess funds to generate investment income, while making an effort to preserve capital;
4) allocate the investment income to the beneficiary’s account on a weighted average basis of the account balances during the period;
5) prepare and distribute an annual financial summary of the beneficiary’s account;
6) prepare and file the U.S. and Georgia Fiduciary Tax Returns when necessary; and
7) provide the annual financial information required by the Georgia Department of Community health (when required).
The fee will be computed and paid on a quarterly basis (25% of the annual amount) and annual amount is as follows:
· 1% of the average account balance on the amount up to $700,000
· .75% (.0075) of the amount of the average account balance of $700,000 to $1,000,000
· .50% (.0050) of the amount of the average account balance above $1,000,000
· Minimum fee of $600
Who prepares the necessary tax returns?
o Preparation of Tax Returns:
· Each sub-account is a trust and is generally required to file a U.S. and a Georgia Fiduciary Return. If the return is required, the Trust will prepare the return at no additional charge to the beneficiary.
· If the beneficiary is required to file a U.S. and Georgia Individual Income Tax Return, the Trust will prepare the return if requested. The fee is $300. [The fee is deducted from the account]
Will the co-trustee receive reports from the Trust?
The co-trustee will receive an annual report that will summarize the activity in the Trust account for the year.
Why choose the Georgia Community Trust?
Continuity – The Trust is a corporate entity that does not depend upon any one individual. Therefore, continuity is more likely.
Expertise – The Georgia Community Trust provides the necessary expertise regarding Medicaid regulations and does not supplant family involvement in decision making, but it does free family members from the responsibility of navigating the bureaucratic systems.
Affordability – Fees charged by the Trust are substantially less than fee charged by banks for an individually managed trust. Moreover, banks often require a minimum balance.
Who can open a Trust account for the beneficiary?
Parents; guardians; grandparents; a court; or the beneficiary.
What happens to the remaining funds in the account upon the death of the beneficiary?
If the funds transferred to the Trust belonged to a third party, not the beneficiary, the funds remaining after the death of the beneficiary will be distributed to the individuals and organizations designated in the Joinder Agreement.
If the funds were transferred by the beneficiary to the Trust, the remaining balance must first be used to reimburse the State for Medicaid payments on behalf of the beneficiary and the remainder can be distributed according to the Joinder Agreement.
Can the beneficiary be reimbursed for the expenses of a vacation?
The co-trustee can obtain reimbursement for the beneficiary’s vacation, which can include travel and hotel expenses of the beneficiary and a caretaker.
Who provides the investment advice for Trust (equity investments)?
The investment advisor to the Georgia Community Trust is R.W. Baird.
How do I obtain more information?
To obtain additional information about Georgia Community Trust, contact Robert M. Fink, Executive Director, (770) 431-7070 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org