We are appointed by the Social Security Administration to act as Payee (manage Social Security funds) for individuals who receive Social Security Income/Disability/Retirement.
We are appointed by the Veteran’s Administration to act as VA Fiduciary (manage VA benefits).
The Chapter’s bookkeepers are required to follow those agencies rules for handling client funds.
Funds are to be used for the client’s day to day needs such as food and shelter. Any remaining funds are used at our discretion depending on the needs of the client.
Social Security requires annual reports and a random audit every 3 years. The VA requires annual reports on any client we take a fee for service from.
The conservator is responsible for ALL assets, except assets in a trust. We are appointed by the court to act as conservator for individuals who the court has found to be incapacitated. The court also requires annual reports and an inventory which includes all of the client’s assets, except assets in a trust. An asset can be real property, so when we inspect the property we look for these items.
Acts as the Estate Personal Representative in a probate. Probates have to be opened in court 45 days after a client’s death if the value of the estate is over $50,000.
A probate can be opened if client did/did not have a Last Will and Testament.
Act as Trustee (manage trust assets) in a variety of trust and Medicaid approved trusts. For example, first party/self-settled, third party/supplemental Special Needs Trusts and pooled trusts.
The Trust is different than a conservatorship because it must have its own tax ID number.
The Chapter must follow the language of the specific trust when dispersing funds. Medicaid qualifying trusts have to be approved by Medicaid and Social Security. The manner of how the trust is funded determines whether the court will have annual oversight.
Acts as guardian for individuals who have been deemed incompetent by the court. Incompetency is determined after the court hears from a physician, visitor and the wards attorney. The guardian is expected to protect the best interest of the ward.
Often times the Chapter takes on the guardian role when there is no family or appropriate family members. The Chapter will take on the role of co-guardian with a family member when they are appropriate, but live out of state.
In the state of Montana, guardianship can also encompass financial and well-being of the individual; however, the Chapter prefers to maintain those roles separately.
Act as case manager by assisting clients in several different ways:
Serving adults, children, elderly and those with disabilities since 2000.