Recent Military Retirement Benefits Law Reform is a Much Anticipated and Welcomed Change

The Disabled Military Child Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama in December, 2014, changed the law affecting retirement benefits for military personnel – and opened the door to improving the financial futures for military dependents with special needs. No longer an either/or choice Before this legislative change, a military parent, through his or her military retirement plan, could provide survivor benefits for a child with special needs. It could supplement the child’s income, […]

ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts: A Side-by-Side Review

The availability of ABLE accounts is imminent. Many people have anticipated this new way to save money for a person with special needs. But does it take the place of a special needs trust? “A special needs trust and an ABLE account have some similarities, but one doesn’t negate the need for the other,” says Chris Collier1, CLU, ChSNC, who is a Special Care Planner and has earned the Chartered Special Needs Consultant designation.2 He’s […]

The Benefits of Dual Enrollment

BY EMILY ILAND, M.A. AND THOMAS W. ILAND, B.S., CPA Dual enrollment can create a gradual transition that gives students with special needs the time and support they need to mature and develop skills for life. By the time students with exceptional needs are in high school, most parents are fairly comfortable navigating the special education system. The sense of comfort can be quickly undone, however, when parents start to think about the great unknown: […]

Lessons from Cecil: The Pride We Share

Physicians and dentists who treat our patients understand the draw. They share a high level of dedication and devotion and know the need for adequate preparation. I love old movies. Among my fondest memories was going to the movies with my father. In reality it was more like he took me to the movies, made sure I had a good seat and popcorn and then he slipped out to go to work. It was Saturday […]

Prenatal Testing: Understanding What’s New And How To Get Support And Information Prenatal Testing

BY STEVEN M. EIDELMAN, STEPHANIE MEREDITH AND ROBERT A. SAUL, MD Over the past few years, new non-invasive prenatal screening tests (NIPS) for genetic conditions have been introduced and heavily marketed with the promise of being safer and more accurate — meaning that more families are learning during pregnancy that their child might have a health issue or disability. But, what’s the real impact on families? Are pregnant women getting counseling beforehand so they understand […]

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 […]