Ask An Advocate Q&A |

Ask An Advocate: Special Needs or Pooled Trust?

Q. What is the difference between a Special Needs Trust and Pooled Trust?

A. A pooled trust is a special needs trust administered by a nonprofit organization. The nonprofit organization acts as Trustee and manages the trust sub-accounts. The sub-accounts are accounted for separately, but the assets and administration of the trust is “pooled” in order to be more cost effective.

A special needs trust that is not a pooled trust is considered a private special needs trust. Both a private special needs trust and a pooled trust serve the same function: as a resource that allows individuals with disabilities to retain public benefits when asset limits are exceeded.

A private special needs trust can only be created for a person 64 years of age or younger. The individual establishing the private special needs trust must select someone to manage the trust. A pooled trust does not have any age restrictions for creating the trust. However, there may be issues with funding for individuals age 65 and older.

For more information about the Arc Minnesota Master Pooled Trust, please visit the Master Pooled Trust page on our website or contact the trust department at 952.920.0855 or