One month ago I sent the following email to the attorney representing the interests of the trustee of my Special Needs Trust. The trustee is my brother Mark Henry Ritter. Tomorrow I meet with my own attorney who represents my interests and it will be the first I will have spoken to him since I sent the email to Mr. Tracy. This is not intended to be an interesting blog to anyone–perhaps ever–but it will be a record for legislators to have as a reference for the need to reform Special Needs Trust laws and regulations from the national level. I plan to detail over the next few weeks my history as an example of why my attorney thinks my case is a prime example of why there needs to be reform. I have been inspired by a recent expose in the New Yorker Magazine of guardianships and their misuse and Special Needs Trusts are even more egregiously abused by some, as they are set up for people who are incapable of advocating for themselves–those legally deemed gravely disabled. So here is what I sent one month ago:
January 22, 2018
Dear Mr. Tracy-
Thank you for representing the trust and the trustee’s interests. I am acting as my own attorney in this communication. I am hereby contesting the trust itself, not the trustee, and understand that by my doing so, the trust will dissolve and the assets go the trustee’s children. As of this day, January 22, 2018, this is my desire and my action irrevocably.
I think you know me well enough by now to know I will take it to a court of law myself if forced, but that is not necessary. I am legally contesting the terms of the trust itself as I signed it under duress and against my better judgment. I should have consulted an attorney myself but did not and now I have to live with my mistake and I do. The trust is now legally dissolved as I am formally contesting it.
The trustee will now have what he wants: control of the assets fully. He will never have to give full accounting. He will be able to go on with his life and his family’s life free and clear. I will gain my freedom and my ability to pursue full recovery, as my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor said she thinks I will be able to learn the computer skills necessary once I am freed from having to contend with the trustee. Whether that is true or not, I do not know. My Godmother said to me, do you feel you are “marked?” If you do, then the one way to be free of it is to walk away from the trust completely.
So, it rang true for me and I will now have to fully depend upon a Power greater than myself and not my family. I will gain recovery from the love of money which is the root of all evil. And this is truly loving my brother because we have very different paths in life and he can go on to pursue his, and I, mine. Thank you for executing the dissolution of the Caroline Victoria Ritter Special Needs Trust, as you are legally required to do under the terms of the trust itself.
Caroline Victoria Ritter