The Golden State Pooled Trust (GSPT) supports individuals with disabilities by preserving resources, protecting public benefits, and providing for supplemental needs that improve quality of life.
The Golden State Pooled Trust (GSPT) is a type of special needs trust established by the North Bay Housing Coalition (NBHC) to support persons with disabilities in California. GSPT assists in preserving resources, protecting public benefits, and providing choices for individuals with disabilities in order to enhance their quality of life.
GSPT is open to all persons with disabilities in California, regardless of disability type. In addition to pooled trust services, GSPT also provides support and advocacy through education for families, attorneys, and other service providers. Whether you are a family seeking a qualified attorney, an attorney seeking direction for your client, or a service provider looking for answers regarding special needs trusts, we are here to help you find answers.
Advantages of a pooled special needs trust
There are several notable advantages of a pooled special needs trust:
- Protects government benefits
Pooled special needs trusts are an excellent solution when a person with a disability owns or receives funds that could potentially cause a loss of eligibility for SSI or Medicaid.
- Provides an affordable option
Pooled special needs trusts provide professional management that might otherwise be too expensive. The fees associated with establishing and operating an individual trust may be cost prohibitive.
- Serves those with limited assets
Pooled special needs trusts can be a good option for individuals with more limited funds. Financial institutions often have a minimum threshold amount to open an individual trust account, which may be substantial.
- Ensures reliable trust management
Pooled special needs trusts are, by law, nonprofit entities. Board members and staff are responsible for trust management, meaning that if a sole trustee is no longer able to administer the trust, the organization will ensure there is no lapse in service.
- Offers investment advantages
With a larger pool of assets, pooled special needs trusts are able to diversify investments, maximize returns, and protect against market volatility.
- Supports court-ordered trusts
Court-ordered trusts have robust reporting requirements that take time and money to address. Pooled special needs trusts provide a streamlined, cost effective option when it comes to court accounting.
- Offers the only option* for individuals aged 65 and older
In order to establish a first party trust, the beneficiary must be under 65 years of age. Thus, when older adults receive a court settlement or have personal assets they'd like to place in a trust (most often to qualify for Medicaid), they are unable to. A pooled trust does not share this age restriction, thereby giving seniors a way to receive needs-based government benefits while providing for supplemental needs. (*Note: This assumes the beneficiary in question owns the assets.)
- Ensures staff with experience and passion for serving individuals with disabilities
Unlike general trust divisions at financial institutions, which may operate a range of trusts for different types of beneficiaries, pooled special needs trusts are specifically designed to serve individuals with disabilities. The staff are committed to working with this unique population, and have relevant experience and knowledge that contribute to a high quality of service.