Melissa Justice, Trust Director, at the Special Olympics Indiana State Games

Melissa Justice, Trust Director, at the Special Olympics Indiana State Games

Last Friday I staffed the exhibit table at the Special Olympics Indiana State Games in Terre Haute.  I had a great time and I know the athletes and their families did as well.  Being at events like this give me a great opportunity to meet new families that are interested in The Arc Trust as well as families that have already enrolled in the Trust.

The Arc of Indiana started Trust I in 1988.  Trust I was established in response to a need felt by families who wanted to be able to provide for their child with a disability after the parents had passed away.  Prior to the law being passed allowing Trust I to be possible, families just had to exclude their child with a disability from their estate plan.

With Trust I you do not have to exclude your child with a disability.  This trust will allow your child to remain eligible for all of the benefits he or she is currently receiving (and keep them eligible for new benefits in the future) and yet have money in the trust that would otherwise make them ineligible. 

The Trust is established at the same time that the will, life insurance or the living trust is updated to name the Trust to receive a portion of the money for their child.  Generally the Trust isn’t funded until the last parent passes away (although it can be funded prior to death). 

Once the parent’s have passed away and the money has come into the Trust for their child, then the Trust “steps into the parent’s shoes” and provides those things that the parents had been paying for prior to death.  The money that has been left in the Trust can be used for a wide variety of things.  I generally tell parents that if they look at their checkbook at how they have spent their money in the last month that is how the Trust has used the money for the benefit of the beneficiaries.  It really isn’t much different!

Trust I is designed to last the expected lifetime of the child (80 years), but if the child lives beyond this age, then The Arc has the Remainder Fund to continue to provide for them if they have outlived the money the parents have left them. 

Please contact me if you would like additional information regarding Trust I or would like to schedule an appointment.  You can email me at or call 317-977-2375 or 800-382-9100.  You can learn more about The Arc Trust by visiting us at

Melissa Justice is the Trust Director for The Arc of Indiana Master Trust

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