They navigate a confounding thicket of tasks and rules. On one side, there is the bureaucracy that government program administrators may erect at any moment. On the other, there are specialized trust accounts and estate planning issues to consider.
In this election season and numerous others, there are many debates on which government programs should stay put and which ones should be cut. Oftentimes, the disabled population gets forgotten in these debates. If you have a family member with special needs, what are you to do if the aid they depend on gets thrown on the chopping block? Planning ahead is a must in this situation.
Unfortunately, few parents of children with special needs fully appreciate what is at stake and how to protect it. To make matters worse, too few professional financial planners are versed on the need to provide a long-term solution for such children, especially with shrinking public assistance benefits.
The New York Times recently provided a mini-primer of sorts on the subject titled “Assuring Care of a Family Member With
Special Needs.” While proper planning will vary from one family to another, given different needs, there are many tools to employ ranging from special needs trusts to life insurance. The key is to know which ones to use.
As funds available for public assistance programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security become more restricted and unpredictable, planning for special needs is going to be more and more important each year. Seek appropriate counsel for your special needs family member to gain peace of mind for their future care.
Reference: The New York Times (October 5, 2012) “Assuring Care of a Family Member With Special Needs”