The Investment Scientist

Archive for April 2014

Special Need Planning

[A client of mine has two special need kids, so I know how important it is. This is an article I got from a estate planning attorney James Braswell.]

Understanding the pitfalls associated with special needs planning is a must for all who assist families with children, grandchildren or other loved ones (such as parents) with special needs.

Keep in mind these nine tips for Special Needs Planning:

Tip #1: Don’t disinherit your special needs child.  Many disabled persons receive Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), Medicaid or other government benefits that provide basic food, shelter and/or medical care. The loved ones of the special needs beneficiaries may have been advised to disinherit them – beneficiaries who need their help most – to protect the public benefits. But these benefits rarely provide more than basic needs. And this solution (which normally involves leaving the inheritance to another sibling) does not allow loved ones to help their special needs beneficiaries after they themselves become incapacitated or die.  The best solution is for loved ones to create a special needs trust to hold the inheritance of a special needs beneficiary.  A properly drafted special needs trust will protect public benefits a disabled beneficiary may be receiving, and it will provide for proper care of that individual throughout their lifetime.

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Author

Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC. He is also a regular contributor to Morningstar Advisor and Physicians Practice. To explore a long-term wealth advisory relationship, schedule a discovery meeting (phone call) with him.



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