Alternative Means to Protect Finances

Electronic Bill Paying
Many individuals who have difficulty paying bills can arrange to have them automatically deposited and paid directly from their bank accounts each month to a creditor.

Pour-Over Accounts

Some banks have available a restricted access account that only leaves a specified sum of money in it for withdrawal at all times. Thus, someone who has problems managing their money will only be able to withdraw a limited amount of money at any given time.

Joint Property Arrangements or Dual Signature Bank Accounts
Joint property arrangements are where 2 or more people share ownership of real estate or bank accounts. A family member or trusted individual can be listed on a joint bank account so that the other person can take care of their finances. A choice to create joint property arrangements or bank accounts should be very carefully considered since all persons listed have complete authority over monies in the account or over other property, giving rise to the potential for exploitation.

Fiscal Intermediaries

An independent legal entity (organization or individual) that acts as a fiscal agent of an individual for the purpose of assuring fiduciary accountability for the funds comprising an individual's budget.

Special Needs Trusts
Sometimes referred to as an "amenities trust," this is a legal instrument that allows an individual with a disability to create a trust and designate a trustee to spend funds in the trust to enhance the life of an individual as a supplement to public funds.  Such trusts may be especially useful for individuals with more than $2,000 in savings as a means of preserving funds without a loss of SSI or Medicaid benefits.