Guardianship & Trusts Corporation trust management services help families and individuals plan to support a beneficiary in the future, professionally managed with the goal of protecting the beneficiary’s resources and benefits. For beneficiaries who qualify for means-tested government benefits (such as SSI or state Medicaid assistance), a Special Needs Trust can provide funds for certain types of expenses while ensuring that the person remains eligible for those benefits.

How does it work?

Government benefits including Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid pay for a person's primary living needs only: food, housing, and basic medical care. Placing funds in our Self-Settled Pooled Trust allows the beneficiary to retain qualification for government benefits while providing another source of funds that can be used to pay for supplemental needs such as eyeglasses, medical insurance premiums, diapers, supplemental care and certain other medical supplies and services.

The Guardianship & Trusts Separately Managed Trusts:

  • Serve Tennessee beneficiaries
  • Special Needs Trusts can be used to pay for the "supplemental needs" of beneficiaries who meet the definition of a person with a disability under the Social Security Act
  • Lower minimum funding requirements than traditional bank trusts
  • Lower enrollment costs and annual fees than traditional bank trusts
  • Simple and prompt disbursement procedures
  • Securely maintained at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.

What Are "Supplemental Needs"?

The following examples, while not exhaustive, serve to illustrate the types of special, supplemental, non-support disbursements that are appropriate for a Special Needs Trust to make on behalf of the trust beneficiary:

Health and dental treatment and equipment for which there are not funds otherwise available
Rehabilitative and occupational therapy services
Medical procedures, even though not medically necessary or lifesaving
Medical insurance premiums
Supplemental nursing care
Supplemental dietary needs
Private case management
Cultural experiences
Art & hobby supplies
Movies, books, and subscriptions
Telephone service
Television and cable equipment and services
Stereo system
Training and education programs
Summer and day camps
Personal grooming services
Minor home modifications for accessibility

If you have other ideas for how you would like your family member to use his or her trust, but aren't sure if it would be considered a "supplemental need," please contact David Spragens, Compliance Director, at (615) 259-3610, ext. 14, or

Separately Managed Trusts

Guardianship & Trusts Corp.