Top 10 Mistakes Caregivers Of Dependents With Special Needs May Make When Planning

1. DISINHERIT YOUR DEPENDENT WITH SPECIAL NEEDS Many people with special needs rely on government benefits to help provide food, shelter, and medical care. If you have been advised to ‘disinherit’ your dependent, remember that these public benefits provide no more than ‘bare bones’ necessities. 2.HAVE ASSETS IN YOUR DEPENDENT’S NAME In order to qualify for government benefits, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a person cannot have more than $2,000 in assets, […]

Connecting The Financial Dots

While learning about the specifics of a child’s diagnosis, parents can check their child’s eligibility for different public assistance programs, which can help cover the costs not included in medical insurance and provide alternative and beneficial therapies. BY JORDAN CAPIZOLA AND AMELIA MULFORD The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that it costs $233,610 to raise a child from birth to 17 years old.1 That is, it costs $233,610 to raise a child before factoring in […]

Issues To Consider Regarding Guardianship And Supported Decision-Making

BY HUGO DWYER & VOR’S COMMITTEE ON GUARDIANSHIP RIGHTS Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their parents, family members and guardians may have heard about Supported Decision-Making (SDM), an initiative that could affect their decision-making rights. Some see SDM as an alternative to guardianship, while others view it as an attempt to remove the legal instrument that provides a safety net for vulnerable individuals. VOR is a national organization that advocates for high […]

5 Ways To Advocate For A Child With Special Needs During A Divorce

BY MINDY STANNARD Going through a divorce can be a stressful and trying time for any parent. Parents of a child with disabilities or special needs often face additional challenges when going through a divorce. Even an amicable divorce can include many complicated issues when the parents have a child with special needs. Issues relating to decision-making, a parenting schedule, child support, alimony and division of debts and assets are especially important in cases where […]

5 Truths About Millennials And Money

BY TINA  HAY Many millennials leave high school and even college without any academic insight into personal finance or investing. 1. Millennials are interested in starting and running their own businesses. Whether it’s within the next few years, or later on in life, startup culture has become more and more appealing.  Resources for how to fund a new company or raise money for a new venture are very popular. Many young adults are trying to […]

Good Planning Protects Benefits And Creates Assets

BY ROB WRUBEL CFP®, AIF® A winning team needs to be established. thIs means finding a financial planner, a lawyer and an accountant each of whom understands the unique challenges and planning opportunities available to families like ours. A friend walked in to my office one day. He carried a leather briefcase. He put his heavy brown case on my desk then paused with his fingers over the brass clasps. He smiled and looked at […]

Introduction of ABLE Accounts in Some States this Summer

An ABLE account is designed to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. This summer, certain states will begin introducing ABLE accounts, providing special needs individuals and their families another resource through which to save and invest for the future. Signed into law in 2014, the ABLE Act and associated accounts are modeled after 529 education savings plans […]

Planning For The Future:Ensuring Your Children’s Care through Elder Law

BY AMY BOULWARE Knowing your family will be safe and secure, even when you may not be around to care for them, is a concern nearly every parent faces—a concern only amplified for parents of children with special needs. But it’s not an issue without an answer. Elder law— which specializes in special needs trusts, estate planning, incapacity procedures and more — is a powerful tool that can not only ensure your peace of mind […]

Caregiving, Finances, and Disability Insurance

In 2015, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and Easter Seals collaborated on Easter Seals Many Faces of Caregiving Study1, a study of caregivers2 in America. Financial impact topped the list of caregiver concerns, and the study found that 91% of caregivers are unpaid. That’s not an unusual statistic when you consider most caregivers are family members. But when family finances are a major concern, supplementing income or creating a good financial strategy to better […]