Tune in to Our Special Event 🎧 & More about the CARES Act

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, Apr 04, 2020 @ 06:30 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team John Nadworny, CFP, CTFA | Cynthia Haddad, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP,  CTFA

SGN from SNFP Webinars

We are proud to present SGN from SNFP - Some Good News from Special Needs Financial Planning! Lunch -1We are hosting a weekly 15 minute Lunch-n-Learn webinar series focused on actions families can take while they are at home together to help them plan for the future. 

April 10, 2020 @ 12 PM EST. National Siblings Day. 👫Honor your family member by attending our webinar, It's Time to Complete your Letter of Intent. 

There is no time like the present to complete your LOI but this is a big document; where to start and what to focus upon?  We will share tips on what your family should be thinking about when completing key areas of the LOI, as well as who should be involved, where it should be saved and how often to update it. Click the button below or email Alex Nadworny to RSVP and submit questions in advance.

RSVP HERE to attend our Letter of Intent webinar

 

More About the CARES Act: Your RMD is not R for 2020.

CARES actThe CARES Act  (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) was signed into law last week and in addition recovery rebates,  the law makes some provisions for retirement plans and accounts.
Specifically:   
  • It waives Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for the calendar year 2020 for IRAs, 401(k) plans, section 403(b) plans, and section 457 plans.
  • It permits coronavirus-related distributions without penalty for those who have been, or whose spouse or dependent has been diagnosed with the virus and have experienced certain adverse financial consequences as a result.
  • Plan loans have been broadened for 180 days beginning on the date of the Act to a maximum of $100,000 instead of $50,000 and an account balance limit of 100% instead of 50%.

Please contact your financial advisor to discuss what this might mean for you.  To read more about the provisions of the CARES act, click here. 

 

Tags: Letter of Intent, special needs planning workshops

The Letter of Intent : Plan for the Future Today

Posted by Patty Manko on Thu, Aug 07, 2014 @ 04:12 PM

01 writing a letter resized 600The Letter of Intent (LOI) has long been utilized as a tool to guide guardians, trustees, siblings and others to care for your dependent child when you, as parents, are unable to do so. In many cases, it contains detailed information that only a parent would know about their child’s history and personal preferences. In every case, it is a document that views the child’s life today and in the future through the eyes of his or her parents or guardians.

The actual composition of the LOI requires gathering and recording the people, places and services relating to your child. It also involves sorting out one’s feelings and defining expectations when thinking about the future for your child with spe- cial needs. Every child is unique and this document will be unique: it should be flexible, clear and personal.

Asking the Right Questions
The art of successful planning involves knowing the right questions to ask, not just working with data. Since developing the Five Factors of comprehensive special needs planning, we have organized the content of our LOI based upon these key elements in planning for your child’s future. Many families need a catalyst to en- courage them to begin the planning process. An LOI can act as this catalyst by ask- ing thought provoking questions. The LOI and your overall plan needs to be peri- odically reviewed and revised and it is important to provide your child’s future caregiver with an updated copy.

Financing Your Vision
Although completing an LOI is a crucial step in assuring the care and wellbeing of your child should you die, this document may also serve a very important function while you are alive. The LOI may be used as a basis for financial planning to achieve your vision for your child today.

Download a letter of intent by clicking on the image below.

Download a template for your Letter of Intent

Tags: Letter of Intent

Using the Letter of Intent to Plan for Your Child Today

Posted by Patty Manko on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 @ 05:15 PM

describe the imageFinancing Your Vision for Your Child: Using the Letter of Intent to Plan for the Future Today

The Letter of Intent (LOI) has long been utilized as a tool to guide guardians, trustees, siblings and others to care for your dependent child when you, as parents, are unable to do so. In many cases, it contains detailed information that only a parent would know about their child’s history and personal preferences. In every case, it is a document that views the child’s life today and in the future through the eyes of his or her parents or guardians.

The actual composition of the LOI requires gathering and recording the people, places and services relating to your child. It also involves sorting out one’s feelings and defining expectations when thinking about the future for your child with spe- cial needs. Every child is unique and this document will be unique: it should be flexible, clear and personal.

Asking the Right Questions
The art of successful planning involves knowing the right questions to ask, not just working with data. Since developing the Five Factors of comprehensive special needs planning, we have organized the content of our LOI based upon these key
elements in planning for your child’s future. Many families need a catalyst to en- courage them to begin the planning process. An LOI can act as this catalyst by ask- ing thought provoking questions. The LOI and your overall plan needs to be peri- odically reviewed and revised and it is important to provide your child’s future caregiver with an updated copy.

Financing Your Vision
Although completing an LOI is a crucial step in assuring the care and wellbeing of your child should you die, this document may also serve a very important function while you are alive. The LOI may be used as a basis for financial planning to achieve your vision for your child today.

Download a letter of intent by clicking on the image below.

 Receive a comprehensive  template for your  Letter of Intent

 

Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning, Letter of Intent

The Five Factors of Special Needs Financial Planning

Posted by Patty Manko on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 @ 02:53 PM

five actors of special needs planningOne of the major obstacles that can prevent  families from planning is that they are frequently consumed by daily crises. The thought of planning ahead can simply be overwhelming. Realizing that each family situation is unique, we have identified the Five Factors that must be considered in conjunction with special needs planning.

These core planning points are by no means an exhaustive list of planning points. They will provide 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 -click here to download a sample 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.

EMOTIONAL FACTORS:

  • Help your other children to meet and talk with children similar in age who also have a sibling with disabilities.
  • Seek professional help when you need it.
  • Be patient with yourself, your spouse and your family.
  • Learn as much as you can about your child's diagnosis and abilities.

FINANCIAL FACTORS:

  • Review your current financial plan -as often as possible.
  • Work with a professional who is knowledgeable in disability planning. Click here to view our checklist for interviewing 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.


LEGAL FACTORS:

  • Review your current estate plan -at least every five years. 
  • Create a Special Needs Trust
  • Name a guardian for your child or children in the event of your premature death or disability.
  • Check beneficiary designations on all life insurance, retirement plan accounts and annuities. These include employer benefit plans too.


GOVERNMENT BENEFIT FACTORS:

  • Advocate for your child. Join forces with your state & local advocacy agencies.
  • Know and pursue your child's legal rights and entitlements.
  • Maintain eligibility for your child's government benefits at all times, even if they are not currently receiving them.
  • Apply for Social Security Survivor's benefits promptly when a parent of a child with a disability dies.
special_ needs_financial_ planningFor further information about the Five Factors of Special Needs Financial Planning, click here to contact us.

Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning, Special Needs Trusts, five factors of financial planning, Letter of Intent, guardianship, special needs Letter of Intent

Siblings and a Letter of Intent

Posted by Patricia Manko on Thu, Nov 08, 2012 @ 05:18 PM


describe the imageParents should make a point to complete the Letter of Intent to document the important aspects of your child’s life. Share it with the future caretakers today, including siblings and make it a living document.  Don’t just leave it for them after you are gone.

 Determining Roles for Siblings to Play

 A pragmatic approach is an effective means to define a role for siblings. This approach can utilize assigning defined responsibilities.

Responsibilities may be shared.  Tasks and roles may be shared, which will allow a sibling to contribute without feeling overwhelmed that they have to be the ” everything” or “IT” person in the family.

Partner with a professional. Siblings can partner with experienced special needs planning professionals to help them provide the best solutions for their brother or sister.

describe the imageSome functional roles siblings may play:

Caregiver, Guardian

Health care proxy, Power of attorney,

Conservator, Trustee, Trust advisor

 Investment manager, Tax preparer,

 Bookkeeper to help pay bills,

 Representative payee for  SSI

  Advocate

                  Just be a brother  or sister!

For more information, click below to attend a presentation of No Sibling Left Behind or Planning is a Family Affair

Contact us for  further information

 

 

Tags: siblings, Letter of Intent, friendship, guardianship, special needs Letter of Intent

A Sample Letter of Intent for Caregivers

Posted by Patricia Manko on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 @ 05:50 PM

wishes6 resized 600The most important asset your child has isYOU.Think for a moment about the specific instructions or guidelines you give to your child or his or her caregiver when you leave for just an evening out or a weekend away.Imagine if you never came back. 

Many families need a catalyst to encourage them to begin the planning process. A Letter of Intent simplifies the planning process by initially asking basic biographic information and progresses to more thoughtful and provoking questions. Since developing the Five Factors of comprehensive special needs planning, we have reorganized the content based upon these key elements in planning for your child’s future. By completing a Letter of Intent for your family member, you will begin to develop goals and objectives to assist you in the overall planning process. Ultimately, it will provide the details required for future caregivers to fulfill their expected roles based upon your desires and concerns.

No matter who you have entrusted to care for your child when you are gone—sibling, friend, relative, trustee, guardian, or organization—you can help guide that person by providing them the knowledge that only you, as a parent, possess. This is not a legally binding document, but it is still perhaps one of the most important documents you can prepare for the future well-being of your child. This is an opportunity to leave a legacy of all that you have accomplished with your child.

You need to periodically review and revise this Letter of Intent, perhaps on your child’s birthday, making certain to provide your child’s future caregiver with an updated copy. As every child is unique, so should this document be unique. Feel free to expand where needed and omit areas that are not applicable. Be flexible, be clear, and feel free to make it as personal as you wish.

To view and download a a blank sample Letter of Intent,click on the image below.

describe the image

 


Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning, Letter of Intent

Letters of Intent and Sharing Your Financial Values

Posted by Patricia Manko on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 @ 12:14 PM

 family meeting resized 600
It is important to articulate your own values concerning money in the context of your vision for the future of your child with special needs. You need to make sure the people who you expect to implement your plans understand very well what they are. This is something many people find to be a difficult and even daunting task. Here are some tips for making the process go smoothly.

Bringing Family Members into Your Discussions

There are many ways to discuss your vision and your finances. It is often easiest to begin this process in a gradual manner and in an informal environment. Although it is important to have all family members in agreement, scheduling initial discussion in a formal meeting or a large family setting is not always the best.

We recommend that you speak to one child at a time, to get their feelings about their willingness to help. This will offer them an opportunity to share ideas with you, rather than you telling them what you are hoping will happen. Remember, caring for a family member with disabilities is a lifetime commitment that you do not want to force on anyone, yet it is important for them to understand your intentions.

After everyone has had an opportunity to discuss their feelings and ideas in an informal way, you may wish to plan a discussion with everyone at once. Since every family's dynamics are unique, you will find the best way to communicate with your family. The following steps should help to move the communication process along smoothly:

* Share you vision.

* Talk about the best person to take on each role. For example, who is the best with finances? That person may be a good trustee or trust advisor of a special needs trust (for more information on selecting a trustee, see Chapter 9 of our book "The Special Needs Planning Guide"). Who is most involved in the day-to-day- life of the child? That person may be a good guardian.

* Ask family members if they feel able to perform their roles independently. If not, design your plan to give them resources to work with. For example, let them know that they could hire an investment advisor to help with the trust management or a social worker to help oversee supports.

Talking about money

In our combined 30-plus years of planning, one of the biggest obstacles that we have encountered is that people do not feel comfortable talking about how much money they have or the specific costs of providing services to individuals with disabilities.

Sometimes parents feel that they must treat all of their children equally. They feel that their children expect it. In many cases, however, siblings understand the financial realities and would rather make sure that their brother or sister is taken care of.

One the first steps necessary for you to be able to achieve financial security for your child is to overcome the reluctance to discuss the issues of money. We all know that it takes money to pay for services, staff, housing expenses, employment supports, transportation educations, health care services and the like. We also know that government does not have an endless supply of money to fund these services.

Talking to your family members about these important issues, and bringing them into the process of finding solutions, is so important.

 
Special Needs Planning Pointerletter of intent resized 600
 
Share your Special Letter of Intent with family members and caregivers. A fill-in-the-blank version is included with our book, The Special Needs Planning Guide. Parents should make a point of completing one and keeping it up to date. Now is a good time to share it with future caregivers and make it a living document. Do not just leave it up to others to figure everything out after you are gone. Preparing this document in advance is a priceless gift that only you can give.
 

Tags: Letter of Intent, special needs Letter of Intent