About Us

Overview of Master Trust of California

The Master Trust of California (Master Trust), a pooled Special Needs Trust (SNT), is operated by Inland Counties Regional Center, Inc. (IRC), a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation, to offer trust administration services to persons with developmental disabilities who are consumers of any of the 21 regional centers in California.  All of the trusts administered by Master Trust are SNTs, which allow the disabled beneficiaries to hold assets in trust while retaining eligibility for public benefits such as SSI and Medi-Cal.

Because Master Trust is operated by IRC, it is able to offer very specialized trust administration services to clients of the California Regional Center system.  Some of the special advantages of the program are as follows:

  • Master Trust has competitive annual trustee fees which enables Master Trust to accept trusts that are smaller than what banks, trust companies or other pooled trusts would accept thereby providing a needed benefit to many persons who would not otherwise be able to establish a trust.
  • Master Trust is a “pooled investment trust” which allows access to a larger, more diverse range of quality investments that may pay a higher rate of return than what is typically available for a small individual trust.
  • Master Trust is overseen by the Master Trust Committee (Trust Committee), which is a committee established by IRC’s Board of Trustees. The Trust Committee is comprised of professionals from the community in the legal, financial, business and medical fields who have an interest in persons with developmental disabilities, IRC Board members, IRC staff and family members of individuals with developmental disabilities who have an interest in and an understanding of the unique problems of individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • A Trust Associate works with regional center caseworkers, family members, care providers and others to assess the needs of each beneficiary and to submit requests for disbursements from the beneficiary’s SNT to the Trust Administrator and Trust Committee.

Our History

In 1977 the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (the Lanterman Act) was enacted to provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities through a network of private nonprofit corporations, called regional centers, pursuant to contracts between each regional center and the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS).

Currently there are 21 regional centers throughout California. Under its contract with DDS, IRC provides certain assessment, counseling and case management services to the residents of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties who have developmental disabilities. The Lanterman Act defines developmental disabilities to include intellectual disability, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder and disabling conditions found to be closely related to intellectual disability or to require treatment similar to that required for individuals with intellectual disability.

Master Trust was developed in response to a growing concern by the parents and family members of individuals with developmental disabilities about their welfare after the parents or other family members pass away or are no longer able to care for them.  The research and development of Master Trust began in March 1975 and in 1979 Master Trust accepted its first trust. While Master Trust is a committee of IRC’s Board of Trustees, the trust program is separate and distinct from the services provided by IRC pursuant to the Lanterman Act and its contract with DDS.

The Master Trust of California is operated by Inland Counties Regional Center, Inc. to give persons with developmental disabilities the opportunity to benefit from the estate planning of others and assets of their own. In certain circumstances, the assets held in a trust are not considered an asset or as income of the beneficiary in determining eligibility for SSI and Medi-Cal benefits.

In 1969 the Lanterman Mental Retardation Act (now called the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act) was enacted establishing the regional center system for providing services to people with a developmental disability. The Lanterman Act, and related laws, consists of Divisions 4.1, 4.5, and 4.7 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and Title 14 of the Government Code. Section 4621 of Division 4.1 of the W&I Code provides that the Department of Developmental Services A shall contract with appropriate private nonprofit corporations for the establishment of regional centers.

Currently there are 21 regional centers throughout California. Inland Counties Regional Center, Inc. has held the State contract to operate the Inland Regional Center , which serves the counties of San Bernardino and Riverside , since 1971. Inland Counties Regional Center, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation incorporated in 1971. Under its contract with California's Department of Developmental Services, the Inland Regional Center provides certain case finding, assessment, counseling and case management services, as specified in the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, to the residents of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties who have a developmental disability. As defined by the Lanterman Act, developmental disabilities include mental retardation, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and autism. Inland Counties Regional Center, Inc. is governed by an all volunteer Board of Trustees who represent both the professionals and consumers of the two county areas served.

1975

In March, 1975, the Board of Trustees contacted Charles S. Grobe, a Los Angeles attorney, to research and develop the Master Trust

1976

In February, 1976, Mr. Grobe sent a letter to the Social Security Administration to determine under what conditions a trust would not be considered an asset of an individual applying for Supplemental Security Income.

1979

The first drafts of the Master Trust Agreement are created and reviewed

1985

The first meeting of the Inland Counties Master Trust Committee was held in San Bernardino California

1986

The first trust is accepted. Assets are deposited at Great Western Savings

1988

The trust funds are transferred into the Franklin Money Fund to take advantage of the then high money market rates. Prior to this each trust had its own savings account

1992

The Department of Developmental Services sanctions the Master Trust program. In their letter DDS states that trust services are “an appropriate service for regional centers to provide” and that it is “a proper function of the corporation”.

1992

Merrill Lynch hired as investment manager for the pooled account

2001

The Master Trust Committee’s investment policies are put in writing

2001

Trust balance 7.9 million

2006

First Account Technician and first Trust Officer hired for Master Trust

2007

Trust assets are transferred to the pooled investment fund. Funds are invested in  T-bills, T-notes and commercial paper

2007

Trust balance 13 million

2012

Clifford Swan is selected as investment manager for the pooled fund

2014

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act enacted to allow individuals with disabilities to save in a special account

2015

Trust assets exceed $18,000,000.00

2015

Tambaurlon Miller selected as Account Technician

2016

Trina Boyce selected as Trust Associate to provide case management services to beneficiaries

2017

Trust Officer retires, Laura Miller selected as Trust Administrator

2018

First trust beneficiary opens an ABLE account

2020

Trust Assets Exceed 21 Million

Master Trust Committee

The Master Trust Committee, is a group of volunteers established by Inland Regional Center's Board of Trustees, oversees the general business of Master Trust. The Trust Committee is comprised of professionals in the legal, financial, business and medical fields who have a vested interest in persons with developmental disabilities.

Master Trust Team

Laura Miller

Laura Miller is Trust Administrator at Master Trust of California, where she is responsible for all aspects of the administration of the trust program.   These duties include ensuring all accounts are in compliance with Master Trust policies and procedures, updating the committee on status and operations of trust program, coordinating financial audits, overseeing preparation of court accountings, and maintaining contact with beneficiaries to assess their needs.

Laura has worked in the regional center system for over 21 years in the accounting and representative payee departments.   Specializing in public benefits, she has assisted consumers with SSI, Social Security, Medi-Cal, Medicare applications, appeals, and maintaining eligibility for means tested benefit programs.

Trina Boyce

Trina Boyce is a Senior Trust Associate at Master Trust of California, where she is responsible for managing client relationships by working with Regional Center caseworkers, family members, care providers and others to assess the needs of each beneficiary. Trina is a highly skilled social worker who has over 15 years of experience in her field. Trina goes above and beyond on the consistent basis to ensure each client has the opportunity to meet their personal and financial goals, while maintaining the highest quality of life their situation will allow.

Tambaurlon Miller

Tambaurlon Miller is the Assistant to the Trust Administrator at Master Trust of California, where she is responsible for the onboarding new clients, social media and general account maintenance.  Tambaurlon has worked in finance since 2011 and looks forward to helping Master Trust expand and ensuring that the service is as convenient for our clients as possible. Tambaurlon is a second generation Regional Center employee and is very happy to be a part of a company that’s sole mission is to benefit the lives of others.

Vanesa Macias

Vanesa Macias is the Account Technician for Master Trust of California, where she is responsible for providing a variety of support-related functions for the Master Trust Department. She reviews and processes all disbursement requests, payments and provides excellent customer service whenever she has the opportunity to do so. Vanesa has worked for Inland Regional Center since 2015 and looks forward to continuing to provide quality services to the developmentally disabled.  Vanesa’s main goal is to empower, encourage and support others.