Special Needs Financial Planning | Age 18
Shepherd Financial Partners is an independent, full-service financial and wealth management practice. Our goal is to provide you with superior, comprehensive financial and wealth management services in the context of a personal, long-term commitment.
Shepherd Financial Partners is an independent, full-service financial and wealth management practice. Our goal is to provide you with superior, comprehensive financial and wealth management services in the context of a personal, long-term commitment.
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Age 18

Age 18.

 

Your child is legally no longer a child.

 

The door to Federal government benefits is now open.

 

Prior to a child turning age 18, eligibility for his/her Government benefits is based upon the parent’s income and assets.  In many cases, the parent’s level of income and assets will disqualify the child’s eligibility for benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.

Although you do not have to utilize government benefits, maximizing eligibility for them should be paramount in your overall plan regardless of your child’s current abilities and/or your current financial status.  It is important not to eliminate any options or jeopardize the potential receipt of benefits by improper planning.

PROM-259

View "Basic Steps of Special Needs Financial Planning"

Yes, Please!

UNIQUE PLANNING REQUIREMENTS

  • Implement guardianship or a less restrictive alternative to guardianship if your child is not able to make decisions on his or her own.
  • In the event that your child’s assets are in excess of $2,000 and they would not financially qualify for SSI and/or Medicaid, you should contact a CFP ™ and an attorney knowledgeable in government benefits eligibility to discuss options of spending down the assets or transferring them to a Special Needs Trust (OBRA ’93 Payback Trust) prior to applying for benefits.
  • Have you begun to discuss with your school system the aspects of transitioning your child to the adult service world?  Attend as many educational training workshops that you can and learn as much as you can now.
  • Do you know which government agency (or agencies) your child will be or should be receiving services and/or resources from?  You should identify the primary government agency that will be responsible for meeting the needs of your child upon their turning age 22 (or the age that they are no longer entitled to education services). Find out about the assessment process and requirements for obtaining services.
  • Does your local government provide services directly or do they hire local agencies to provide such services?  Get to know the various service providers who may be available for your child’s needs.  This is a good time to speak with them about their residential and vocational services. Serve as a member of the Board of Directors of an agency and/or advocacy group and get to know how the system works.
  • If your vision is to ultimately own a home where your son or daughter will live, now is a good time to begin to explore the real estate market in the area that you desire.  The sooner you can begin to build equity in a second home, the more financially stable you will be as you approach your retirement years.  In some situations, rental property can be an ideal way to secure a residence for your child.

Special Needs Planning Story

INDIVIDUAL CASE STUDY

Upon my mother’s death, I initially felt comforted knowing that my mother had recently met with a disability law attorney to plan her affairs.  Since I do not live near my sister with special needs, I had my personal attorney review the legal documents when my mother died.  Everything appeared to be in order until I contacted the life insurance company, which informed me that my sister and I were equal beneficiaries on my mother’s policy.  This meant that the money my mother originally intended to help provide for my sister’s needs actually disqualified her for benefits.  If my mother had by coordinated designating the beneficiary of her life insurance policy with her estate plan this never would have happened. I wish I had known…  Marian’s sister.

READING ROOM

Below are a few articles relating to planning for your child at this stage.  For more information visit  WHAT WE’RE SAYING.

  • Important Questions to Ask When Applying for Government Benefits

    Important Questions to Ask When Applying for Government Benefits

    VIEW MORE
  • Guardianship Considerations for Individuals with Disabilities

    Guardianship Considerations for Individuals with Disabilities

    VIEW MORE
  • Diary of a Dream I

    Diary of a Dream I

    VIEW MORE

1 There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

2   Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.