Since January 2017, the changes in the administration and in Congress have brought a lot of other big changes. A replacement for the Affordable Care Act has been proposed. Changes in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are likely. Meanwhile, personal injury claims are still being settled. Host Mark Wahlstrom and his guest Chris Foregger, president of Capital First Trust Company, discuss the use of medical trusts in settlement planning.
Foregger points out that a medical trust offers protection against uncertainties that go along with changes in public benefit programs. A medical trust, similar to a settlement trust or special needs trust, will provide a system of asset or investment management. It will also allow the trustee to distribute funds to pay for medical expenses or health insurance premiums.
A medical trust will also have some necessary flexibility. Foregger explains that a medical trust can be designed to take into account provisions of the ACA and can be designed so that it can be converted into a special needs trust should a beneficiary’s situation so require.
Some might question whether changing a trust to meet changes in circumstances would be very expensive and difficult. Foregger says that the process of changing the trust is relatively simple from the client’s standpoint. A trust attorney will be involved to provide advice to the client and draft the trust document (for which there will be a fee). Foregger’s company, Capital First, has no charge for setting up the trust. Once the trust is established and is being administered by Capital First, it will be paid according to its normal trustee fee schedule.
Having a corporate fiduciary looking after the trust and the interests of the beneficiary is a desirable thing from the perspective of personal injury attorneys. It is a real benefit to trial lawyers and their clients to have qualified corporate fiduciaries looking after settlement proceeds and client needs.
Chris Foregger is the President of the Capital First Trust Company in Greater Milwaukee. The company has handled over 2,000 settlement trusts since its creation. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.