SAM Trust FAQ

Who acts as Trustee of the SAM-Trust?

First Capital Surety & Trust Company is the trustee. First Capital Surety & Trust Company (First Capital) was chartered on March 17, 1999. Prior to its charter, the roots of First Capital were established in 1984. First Capital served as trust service administrator to First National Bank of Chicago, U.S. Bank, Harris Trust Company and others. This included coordinating all fiduciary and operational tasks expected of the trust and performing all account service functions.

First Capital was created specifically to serve personal injury victims and their families. First Capital serves as trustee and administers a variety of trusts designed specifically for personal injury victims. These trusts include, Settlement Asset Management Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Medical Expense Trusts, Education Trusts and Agency Trusts.

This specialized focus provides First Capital with unique skills and experience that allows them to more efficiently manage settlement trusts. Their mission is to provide trust beneficiaries with the finest customer service and impeccable trust administration.

As a regulated trust company, First Capital is subject to rigorous banking laws, regulations and management oversight and is regularly audited by the banking examiners. If First Capital were to become insolvent or go out of business, trust assets would remain untouched and unaffected. A new chartered trustee would simply be appointed to manage the trust. Trust assets are protected by law and are not subject to First Capital’s creditors’ claims. First Capital cannot pledge trust assets to secure loans for itself.

First Capital was granted a trust company charter by the State of South Dakota Banking Commission and as such is a highly regulated entity. The state performs a thorough examination every twelve to eighteen months. In addition to the Banking Commission, First Capital must file an annual report with the South Dakota Secretary of State detailing its financial condition. First Capital has always maintained excellent standing with the Banking Commission and Secretary of State and no action has ever been taken against the Company.

How are investments managed inside of the trust?

There are a variety of options including structured settlements, fixed income products and other financial products. A planner will help decide how the assets should be allocated within the trust.

What is High Yield Fixed Income Annuity Portfolio?

High Yield Fixed Income Annuity Portfolio is a fixed income option within the SAM-T and are payment rights from fixed structured settlement annuities that have been sold at a significant discount to a third party purchaser. After the sale, the structured settlement annuity remains in force and the payments can be legally transferred to a new Buyer (SAM-Trust Trustee) through the purchase of High Yield Fixed Income Annuity Portfolio by the trustee. When High Yield Fixed Income Annuity Portfolio is purchased, the Buyer (SAM-Trust Trustee) is legally transferred the rights to future fixed structured settlement annuity payments in return for a one time lump sum investment.

Can it be used with a structured settlement?

Yes, the SAM-Trust can be used in conjunction with a traditional structured settlement, as well as with High Yield Fixed Income Annuity Portfolio. A structured settlement is an effective tool to provide guaranteed tax-free lifetime income for an injury victim. By pairing this product with the SAM-Trust, an injury victim can take advantage of the tax benefits of a traditional structured settlement while still enjoying the liquidity as well as flexibility offered by the SAM-Trust. The High Yield Fixed Income Annuity Portfolio component enhances the returns, providing the ultimate solution for injury victims.

Can the SAM Trust assist with an SNT?

In a word: Yes! If you, or an injured family member, are currently depending on Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to provide needed expenditures or care, a Special Needs Trust is necessary to preserve those needed government benefits.

The Synergy Asset Management team offers you professional expertise and advice regarding preservation of public benefits. We are dedicated to working closely with you to provide for your special needs. We can assist with recommendations for the right trustee for your special needs trust in consultation with your elder law attorney. Our goal is to help build a brighter financial future for you and your family through the use of a properly drafted Special Needs Trust that can:

  • Provide for your supplemental needs throughout your life to meet the financial challenges ahead
  • Preserve your Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
  • Enhance your quality of life through professional planning customized to your needs
  • Pay for real estate, education, therapy, vacations, social services and more
  • Provide you with tax-reporting and bill paying services



"In my twenty-two year career as a trial lawyer I've handled my share of catastrophic cases and structures, but imagine the complexity of an engaged, unwed mother catastrophically injured during delivery, giving birth to a healthy child, but left in a vegetative state? The issues of guardianship and entitlements of the newborn, the rights of the biological father-fiancé, an out-of-state teenage child of the mother, lifetime maintenance of the mother, as well as the rights of family of the mother, who became her primary care-takers? Synergy systematically managed the seven figure tender of one defendant, the establishment of a Qualified Settlement Fund, a Special Needs Trust, and multiple structures, all the while concurrently maintaining the various entitlements to ancillary services, as well as the remaining litigation. Everything was handled professionally, timely and literally without a hitch. Truly an amazing feat."

Marcus J. Michles II
Michles & Booth

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