All CFMF Joinder Applications must be reviewed and signed by an attorney counseling the person establishing the Trust. It is not necessary for the attorney to draft a separate trust agreement.  All of our forms are available on our website.  CFMF is happy to speak with potential clients and their attorneys.  Please call our Administrative Office or any of our Associate Directors to schedule an appointment for an in-person or telephone meeting.


The steps to establishing a CFMF Trust are as follows:

  • The attorney identifies the correct Joinder Application
  • The attorney completes the appropriate Joinder Application and the person establishing the trust initials and signs where needed.
  • The attorney mails or delivers the originals to CFMF’s Administrative Office along with the required supporting documents such as the W-9 and two proofs of identification.  The type of supporting documents needed depends on whether it is a Master or Pooled Medicaid Payback Trust.
  • CFMF reviews every Joinder Application on the business day it is received.
  • CFMF will email the attorney with a confirmation the Application has been accepted or with a list of missing or incorrect data that is needed before the Application can be processed.  The attorney should make sure his or her email address is included on the Joinder Application or on the cover letter.
  • Once accepted by CFMF, the Joinder Application will be reviewed and approved by our Trustee.
  • A fully-executed copy will be sent to the person establishing the Trust (unless that person resides in a long-term care facility where receipt of mail may not be private), the attorney identified in the Joinder Application, and the Designated Advocate.  The Designated Advocate will also receive a “Welcome Packet” with information on how to request a distribution.  If the Trust is unfunded or has not reached the minimum distribution balance ($15,000 for Master Trusts and $5,000 for Pooled Medicaid Payback Trusts), CFMF will wait to send the Welcome Packet until the Trust is distributable.
  • If the Designated Advocate wishes to allow a third-party, such as an attorney, to speak with CFMF regarding the Trust, the Designated Advocate must provide such consent in writing to CFMF by electing that option in the Joinder Agreement or signing a separate written authorization. CFMF has its own Authorization to Release Information form or will accept a written equivalent.
  • CFMF does not notify any government agency that a trust has been established, but it will provide an explanatory letter for benefit applications or redeterminations if requested by the Designated Advocate.

Attorneys should review the Attorney Instructions before submitting a Joinder Application. If the attorney has additional questions, one of our Trust Development Coordinators, our Executive Director, Amanda M. Buzo, Esq., or any of our Associate Directors in our satellite offices will be happy to assist you.  Attorneys are also welcome to fax a draft Joinder Application packet for review to our Administrative Office at 216/867-9783 and a response will be provided by a Trust Development Coordinator within two business days.


Designated Advocate Responsibilities / Requesting a Distribution

The role of Designated Advocate is very important.  This is the person who communicates to CFMF on behalf of the Beneficiary.  A competent adult can serve as his or her own Designated Advocate.

The Designated Advocate is the only person who can request a distribution from the trust. Distributions from a CFMF Trust must be for the benefit of the Beneficiary; a distribution from a Pooled Medicaid Payback Trust must be in the “sole benefit” of the Beneficiary.  These types of distributions, generally referred to as “supplemental services,” are those items or services that are not covered by insurance or a government program, but supplement and enhance the quality of life of an individual with a disability. The Designated Advocate will receive a Welcome Packet when the Trust becomes distributable.  Included in the Welcome Packet will be a list of common distribution requests, a Distribution Request Form, a new Beneficiary Resource Record which must be submitted with the first Distribution Request and every twelve months thereafter, an Opt-Out of Paper Statements Form, and Instructions for Designated Advocates.

In addition to submitting Distribution Requests and Beneficiary Resource Records, the Designated Advocate is also responsible for receiving paper statements or signing up for online statement access, receiving tax documents, communicating with CFMF regarding address changes for the Beneficiary or Designated Advocate, and notifying CFMF when any party has died, such as the Grantor or Beneficiary.