Putting Your Family's Special Needs Planning Team Together

Posted by Patricia Manko on Thu, Feb 07, 2013 @ 04:47 PM

expert advice special needsWhen a family member has special needs, whether with autism, Down Syndrome, Asperger's Syndrome, schizophrenia, developmental disabilities, mental illness or any other disability, it is never too early to begin planning for their future. Keep in mind that Special Needs Planning is planning for Two Generations.

It's so important to work with advisors who can help you to think about the vision you have for your child and begin to build a plan that will support them both during your lifetime and well after you are gone. Building your family's special needs planning team of experts should include a financial planner, estate planning attorney and accountant. If possible it should include conversations with current and/or future trustees, guardians, caretakers, and any other person involved in your child's life.

Since we believe that finding the right people for your team is so important, we have dedicated this issue to providing tips on how to select a financial planner and how to locate a qualified disability law attorney.

A qualified disability law attorney can be found via two resources that we use in referring clients throughout the country. One is the Special Needs Alliance, a national, non-profit organization committed to helping individuals with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who represent them. Another is Special Needs Answers which is a community service provided by the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

Below you will find a Checklist for Finding a Financial Planner, a tool for interviewing. The answers can help you determine who is the right person for your team of experts.

ou must take care to choose a financial planner and an attorney who is qualified and knowledgeable in disability law to assist you. There are several organizations that are devoted to regulating the qualifications of financial planners and investment advisors. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) is the professional regulatory organization acting in the public interest to foster professional standards in personal financial planning. We recommend that you work with a CFP® practitioner for your financial planning needs who is knowledgeable in special needs planning.

To assist in your search for a knowledgeable advisor, we have prepared a Checklist for Interviewing a Financial Planner.

Click here to access Checklist for Interviewing  a Financial Advisor

Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning, financial planning

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