Do You Need to Name an Executor of Your Estate? Seven Questions and Answers to Help You Decide.

Estates vary regarding valuation and complexity. In its simplest definition, if you own assets, you have an estate. If you also have debts and/or a will, you may need someone to settle your estate when you die. “Most individuals understand the importance of creating a financial strategy or a life care plan1 for their family, especially when a family member has special needs” says Connor W. Kavanaugh, who is a Special Care Planner2 with MassMutual-Oregon3 […]

Financial Matters to Consider When a Family Member’s Death is Expected

A family member’s death and the grief we feel is difficult to endure, especially if the death is sudden and shocking. But sometimes we know in advance a person’s life will soon end. “Expecting a death doesn’t minimize grief,” says Leizer Gewirtzman1, CPA, ChSNC, who is a Special Care Planner2 with Lee, Nolan and Koroghlian, LLC3 in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, a general agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). “However, it allows time […]

Don’t Need Government Benefits? Create a Financial Strategy As Though You Do.

If you have a child with special needs who’s nearing adulthood, you may hear that you should take precautions to protect eligibility for government benefits. But what if you don’t want or need those benefits for your child? “Even if you believe you have plenty of money to care for your child,” says Lea Bancroft, MSFS, CLU, ChFC, ChSNC, a Special Care Planner1 associated with MassMutual Rochester2 in Rochester, New York, a general agency of […]

Early Intervention is Smart for Finances, Too

As important as early intervention is to the health and wellbeing of your child, so is early attention to creating a financial strategy for your family. “Parents with a child who’s recently been diagnosed with a life-changing injury, illness, or condition has little time for other concerns,” acknowledges Chadwick Noyes, CLU, ChFC, ChSNC, a Special Care Planner1 with Hoopis Financial Group2 in Chicago, Illinois, a general agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company  (MassMutual). “However, […]

An Opportunity for a Living Wage for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum? Electronics Recycling & Refurbishing

BY ERNST VANBERGEIJK, PH.D., M.S.W. Without specific job training, individuals on the autism spectrum face rather bleak employment prospects. At best, the employment rate is 45 percent for this population. Anecdotal reports find that only about 10 percent of  individuals on the autism spectrum find employment. Often, employment is part-time, minimum wage work which does not afford the individual a living wage. Entitlement programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance limit the amount of money […]

Special Needs Trusts – How Much Trouble Are They To Manage?

Trusts are wonderfully flexible planning devices — but that does mean you have to do the planning. BY ROBERT B FLEMING, CELA and BERNARD A KROOKS, CELA – A client recently asked the following question: I’m thinking about setting up a special needs trust for my son, who has a developmental disability. Will it mean a lot more work for my daughter, who will be handling my estate? It’s a fair question, and one we hear a lot. No […]

Retirement Planning Deliberations – Because Planning Deliberately Pays Off

Think about what you’ve done to plan for your retirement. Go ahead. Give it some thought. Now imagine that your retirement begins… tomorrow. Are you ready? Have you done everything you should have done? If you’re wincing or your heart has ramped up its pace a bit, take a deep breath. Relax. Even if retirement is just a few years off, there are still some things you can do to prepare. And if many years will […]

Able Act Passes

BY ROBERT F BROGAN & BERNARD A KROOKS The community of individuals with special needs and their family members will have at their disposal a new tool with which to maintain a private fund of assets while preserving certain government benefits. Following years of national grassroots advocacy efforts, the community of individuals with special needs and their family members will have at their disposal a new tool with which to maintain a private fund of […]