5 Main Responsibilities of a Special Needs Trustee

5 Main Responsibilities of a Special Needs Trustee

As the newly enacted trustee for a special needs relative or family friend, your role is to manage all assets to ensure they benefit the person you’re representing. Once you become a trustee, you’re responsible for areas such as bookkeeping, appropriating all distribution of assets, and reporting on taxes. For more insight on your role, here are the five main responsibilities of a special needs trustee.

Appropriating All Trust Distributions

The first act of business is ensuring all distributions meet the terms of the trust. Otherwise, the distribution can severely impact the beneficiary’s governmental benefits.

Although the trustee has the right to spend the money, it needs to reflect the beneficiary’s best interests.

Investing the Trust Properly

Even as a trustee works through adequately spending the trust in the beneficiary’s best interests, the trustee also needs to invest in the trust properly. By investing, you don’t need to put money into stocks.

When you invest the trust properly, you’re partaking in legal discussions with financial advisors on how the estate can grow positively and whether every form of investment is appropriate for the client’s trust.

All in all, you’ll meet with financial advisors who guide you through the best ways to invest in the trust, and your duties would include looking over the investment history. Additionally, you look at the current activity and monitor all assets.

Tracking Bookkeeping

It’s best to hire a bookkeeper if you cannot organize assets well. However, having an accountant with you can help keep track of expenses. Additionally, bookkeeping plays a considerable role in the trust. Bookkeeping tracks all costs to various accounts over the course of a year.

However, keep in mind that it’s your responsibility to report all accurate information to the assessor, who can then record and distribute the correct amount to each party and ensure it’s ready for auditing by the beneficiary or court.

Reporting Taxes

Taxes are a vital instrument in distributing assets and reporting all expenses from an estate. On the other hand, all documents must be prepared for tax reporting, as the tax reports for trusts come off complicated and confusing.

As you accumulate all reports, take them to an accountant to finish the work. That way, the beneficiary avoids a colossal tax bill later.


Becoming a trustee is a big responsibility, but if you aren’t able to take that liability, speak up to the beneficiary so they can pick the best fit for their situation. It’s best to sit down with a beneficiary and their attorney to discuss what the position entails before making a decision, as this will help you avoid potential lawsuits from family members.

Vancouver Wills and Trusts provides the most excellent and communicative special needs trust attorneys in Vancouver. We provide additional insight on the main responsibilities of a special needs trustee. If the person you’ve chosen as trustee isn’t up to the task, we can help with the next steps.

For more information on our special needs trusts services, contact us here for a free consultation.