Planning for a Child with Disabilities - Part 1

Planning for a Child with Disabilities - Part 1

[caption id="attachment_788" align="alignleft" width="150"]Minoti Rajput Minoti Rajput[/caption]

Minoti Rajput, CRP®, RFG™ practices in Southfield, Michigan, and maintains both a general practice and a specialized practice of planning for families with special-needs children. Minoti is a fellow member (along with Rob O’Dell) of the Summit Study Group SummitStudyGroup.com. She can be reached at (248) 827-2790 or at minraj@aol.com.

For parents with dependent children with disabilities, the importance of proper financial and estate planning is far more significant than merely attempting to limit the dollars owed to Uncle Sam.

Thanks to medical advances many of those with disabilities have longer life expectancies than in years past. Further, more are living with their families in their own communities, as opposed to being placed in institutions. And while these are blessing, they also create unique challenges for families when it comes to planning for the future.

Minoti Rajput, of Secure Planning Strategies, notes that because many adult-age children with disabilities are incapable of caring for themselves, their future quality of life depends on their parents’ abilities and desires to structure a plan to meet their needs. “Numerous financial and general support issues arise once the parents pass away or are no longer able to properly care for their special needs children. Parents of children with disabilities benefit from the services and advice of a highly trained financial planning specialist,” says Minoti.

For parents of children with disabilities, financial planning is not an option; it is a necessity. Planning for special-needs children should be coordinated directly with the parents’ personal financial and estate planning needs. Minoti says that few financial planners know about special needs advising.

The financial professional must be knowledgeable about various disabilities and understand the government programs and the eligibility requirements in order to best apply retirement and estate planning techniques on their behalf.

“While specialists should educate the parents about the basics of investments, insurance and the tax consequences involved, they also should explain how the children will be affected by each of the planning decisions. Tax rules are quite complex when intertwined with the regulations that govern Medicaid, Medicare and other benefits that many of these individuals receive,” notes Minoti.

Understanding the complex eligibility requirements for the various federal and state-run programs and their benefits is absolutely essential when developing strategies to meet the long-term special needs of children with disabilities. Some financial decisions that provide income or transfer assets could create situations where the special-needs child may become ineligible for future benefits that may be of great importance, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Survivor or Disability (SSDI) benefits.

In Part 2, Minoti will share the 10 most important questions to answer when financially planning for a child with special needs.

If you're planning for your child with special need, give us a call. We would love to help.

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