“If you’re planning a trust or are a beneficiary of a trust, you should insist upon imposing an “Integrity Monitor” or independent fiduciary to oversee the investment program, as well as the service providers retained to implement that program.”
An Integrity Monitor can be a carefully defined role for an individual who has the unique skills required to fulfill certain duties and add significant protection to a Special Needs Trust.
Forbes reported on this in its article titled “Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Family Offices All Need Integrity Monitors But Don't Know It.”
An Integrity Monitor should have the investment management industry and forensic expertise needed to prevent any wrongdoing with the administration of the trust.
If you don’t have an expert in money management malfeasance dedicated to overseeing the investment program of your trust, you may be taken advantage of daily throughout the lifetime of the trust.
It’s common practice for major companies, agencies, and governments to hire “inspector generals” to oversee their operations and prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of illegal or unethical business practices, as well as to detect fraud.
Courts and regulators also often require that such a monitor be placed within a company to prevent future abuses as part of a legal settlement, when the company has engaged in past wrongdoing.
You shouldn’t wait until something goes wrong with the administration of a special needs trust to add this important layer of independent protection.
The annual cost is fairly insignificant and an integrity monitor who’s doing his or her job will more than pay for that expense.
Reference: Forbes (January 30, 2018) “Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Family Offices All Need Integrity Monitors But Don't Know It”