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Pursuant to sections 4.3 and 4.4 of the Master Trust Agreement dated July 20, 1999, The Arc Oregon has appointed Key Bank National Association as the new Trustee of the Oregon Special Needs Trust. The Master Trust Agreement has been amended and dated November 25, 2015. The Joinder Agreement has been amended to reflect the new Trustee and Master Trust Agreement. All changes to the Joinder Agreement apply to all current pooled trust participants and all previously executed Joinder Agreements are immediately deemed to be amended accordingly. You are encouraged to review the new Joinder Agreement documents posted on the Forms and Documents page of The Arc Oregon website. Upon your annual review date, you will receive an Updated Joinder Agreement and will be required to sign and return the document when requested. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions!



Donor funded sub-accounts, also known as third-party trusts, help families plan for the financial future of their loved one without affecting eligibility for government benefits. Typically, these trusts are funded by parents or grandparents through their will, living trust, retirement account or life insurance proceeds. If the account is established while the donor is alive, but won’t be funded until the donor passes away, then it is called a zero-balance or unfunded account. Unfunded accounts are charged a low annual maintenance fee and the original Joinder Agreement may be updated by the donor at any time prior to funding the account.


Future Funding

Early Enrollment

The benefit of establishing an account prior to the donor’s death, rather than having an attorney or personal representative complete the process after their death, is that we will then have the opportunity to become familiar with the beneficiary and the family’s wishes for that person before stepping in at, what is likely to be, a difficult time in their life. We develop a detailed profile on each beneficiary and ask donors to update that profile each year so that we have a better understanding of the beneficiary and a historical reference for their needs that will help us in providing for them after the donor’s death.

Financial Planning

We strongly recommend that you meet with an attorney and/or a financial planner before making any final decisions about how to provide for your loved one in the future. The most important factors to consider when funding an account are how much you can afford, the type of lifestyle to which your child is accustomed and what his or her needs may be.

Families usually fund the trust with proceeds from their estate, life insurance death benefits, 401ks, retirement accounts or other means. The most common methods by far are through the estate via a will or living trust and life insurance benefits. However, sometimes other relatives may wish to contribute to the trust account.

When you do decide to move forward, it is important to make sure that your will or life insurance policy is properly worded in order to maintain the third-party status of the sub-account.

“If (BENEFICIARY NAME) is living at my death, then (DOLLAR AMOUNT OR PERCENTAGE) shall be paid to KEY BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, as the trustee for the OREGON SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST, dated November 25, 2015, for the benefit of  (BENEFICIARY NAME), to be administered by The Arc of Oregon.”

If another family member, a grandparent for example, also wants to contribute to this account, the grandparent should use this same language in their legal document. 

For a life insurance policy, you may list the pooled trust as the beneficiary using the following language:

KEY BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, as the trustee for the OREGON SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST, dated November 25, 2015, for the benefit of  (BENEFICIARY NAME), to be administered by The Arc of Oregon. 



Early Funding

Donor funded accounts may be funded prior to the donor’s death; however, the donor must understand that once the money is deposited into the sub-account, it no longer belongs to the donor and can only be used for the benefit of the beneficiary. It is also important for donors to understand that, due to the conservative nature of our investments and the fees associated with maintaining a sub-account, the OSNT is not to be viewed as an investment growth opportunity. If your goal is to grown the money before leaving it to your loved one, we recommend that you establish and unfunded sub-account and invest the funds elsewhere.



There is no specific amount that is right for everyone. You will need to determine what is right for your family based on your child’s current and expected needs. Annual Spending Target Examples of what the trust might provide on an annual basis based on various funding levels may help you make a more informed decision. These examples are provided for illustration purposes only.

Unfortunately, no. The Oregon Special Needs Trust only accepts cash assets into the asset pool.

Yes. Multiple donors may deposit funds into the account, but only the donor who signs the Joinder Agreement has control over remainder beneficiaries (where the money goes after the death of the trust beneficiary).

Yes. We encourage the input of key persons involved in the beneficiary’s life. Although family members do not have an official legal role in the administration of the trust, the OSNT staff pays great deference to the opinions, insights and directions given by key persons when making decisions on behalf of the beneficiary.

All sub-accounts are irrevocable. If the beneficiary or key person is unhappy with a decision, they may request an appeal in writing. Grievances are reviewed by the Executive Director, the Advisory Committee and/or The Arc Board of Directors.

Yes. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA ’93) allows you to fund a Special Needs Trust for your child and immediately qualify for Medicaid without being subject to the look-back period.

To get locked in for the annual renewal fee that is in place at the time your enrollment, you must pay the renewal fee each year. If you let the enrollment lapse, the unfunded account will be closed. If you choose to enroll again in the future, you will be charged the enrollment and annual renewal fees effective at the time of your re-enrollment. Fees are not refundable if an enrollment lapses.

No. If an account is not yet funded, you are not obligated to fund it in the future or to maintain your enrollment.

Our intent is to spend the entire amount for your child’s benefit during his or her actuarial lifetime. If he or she lives to actuarial life expectancy, the trust should be completely depleted. Should any money remain, you, as the Donor, designate how this money is distributed.

No, there is no mandatory retention for third-party accounts. You may voluntarily elect to leave some or all of the remaining funds to the OSNT or to The Arc Oregon.

If a similar trust is operating in the state to which your child moves and if that trust is willing to accept responsibility, a transfer can be made from our trust to the new trust. If the new trust is not willing to accept assignment, or if there is no similar trust, we retain responsibility for administering your child’s trust account.


What family members are saying about the Oregon Special Needs Trust

My brother has schizophrenia… The people at The Arc always treat him with respect and kindness. Per my request they let me know when he requests disbursements and we discuss it. I appreciate The Arc.


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