These core planning points are a baseline of what should be considered in special needs planning for every stage. Think of them as the basics you need to consider regardless of the age of your family member. They should of course be reexamined from time to time to be certain the recommendations stay current with your own family's needs.
FAMILY & SUPPORT FACTORS:
- ASK the people whom you want involved with your family member's life whether or not they want to be involved before you just name them in your plan.
- HELP prepare future guardians, caretakers, trustees and successors for their roles.
- COMPLETE a Letter of Intent
- When grandparents or other friends or relatives offer to help by including your child in their gift or estate plans, say THANK YOU.
- ENCOURAGE them to have their advisors speak with your advisors who specialize in disability planning.
- BE CONNECTED with family support agencies in your area.
- REVIEW your current financial plan -as often as possible.
- Work with a PROFESSIONAL who is knowledgeable in disability planning. See our checklist for questions to ask a financial planner.
- PROTECT your family with adequate life insurance, long-term disability insurance, and long-term care insurance coverage for primary caregivers.
- IDENTIFY all employee benefits for which you are eligible.
- DO NOT establish a savings or investment account in your child's name.
Part II of ths blog will contain checklists for the Legal, Government and Emotional Factors in planning for your child with special needs.