Getting Started with ACT

Thank you for your interest in Ardent Community Trust of Pennsylvania (ACT).  We are a non-profit corporation incorporated in Pennsylvania in 2001 for the purpose of administering a pooled special needs trust for the benefit of individuals with disabilities.  We also act as Trustee for other special needs trusts, including; Third Party Special Needs Trusts, which are funded with the assets of someone other than the Trust Beneficiary; Non-Pooled Special Needs Trusts, which are funded with assets belonging to the Trust beneficiary; and, educational special needs trusts.

Quality control is extremely important to us. Our services are grounded on the belief that everyone should have the chance to live securely and independently, and our services empower people to make choices that are meaningful to them and to their families.

Special needs trusts are permitted by both federal and state statute and are subject to complex (and sometimes counter-intuitive) rules.  They are intended to allow individuals with disabilities to continue to receive governmental benefits such as SSI and Medical Assistance while having access to trust assets that, had the individual received them outside the special needs trust, might have caused the individual to lose important benefits.  Used properly, special needs trusts can improve the quality of life for many people with disabilities.

To review which Trust may best address your loved ones needs, select our resources on Special Needs Trusts. If you are looking for an Educational Special Needs Trust simply click HERE.

Where do you begin?

This can be simple by following these steps and contacting us today.

  • First, we’d encourage you to contact us to better learn how to get started identifying a Special Needs Trust and answering questions you may have. Click here to read how ACT supports you and your loved one.
  • Then, if you are opening a Payback Trust, you’ll start by contacting an attorney familiar with drafting special needs trusts.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Day-to-Day with ACT

Our day-to-day special needs trust services include, but are not limited to:

  • Supervising all aspects of the trust and at all times acting in the beneficiary’s best interests;

  • Offering a line of defense against undue influence from existing friends or family, outside caregivers, and new friends who may suddenly appear once a trust is funded;

  • Abiding by the terms of the trust and reviewing each distribution against a standard of “reasonableness”;

  • Taking custody of cash, maintaining transactional records for receipts and disbursements, preparing tax letters and tax returns for the trust, issuing account statements and providing accountings as required by the court as well as other outside authorities;

  • Monitoring and reviewing the performance of the investment manager and making changes that are in the best interests of the beneficiary;

  • Coordinating the payment of bills and expenses, and taking charge to follow through on implementing many of the services outlined in a care plan for the beneficiary;

  • Maintaining relationships with other service providers in an effort to contain costs, including public benefit agencies and medical cost containment companies;

  • Determining if it is necessary to purchase a vehicle or house and identifying the specific needs as well as coordinating the purchase;

  • Coordinating payroll for caregivers recommended by a case manager, if such services are not provided by a private agency or Medicaid; and

  • Supporting the implementation of recommendations made by a case manager to enable the beneficiary to receive the highest quality of care.

Issues and Trust Related Issues ACT Recommends You Review