What You Need to Know About Special Needs Planning

A special needs trust is essential for protecting a loved ones quality of life and access to government benefits.

A special needs trust is essential for protecting a loved one’s quality of life and access to government benefits.

Estate planning is nothing new.  People know about the importance of having an up to date will, living will and power of attorney and most have these documents at the ready.  What if you have a child with a severe physical or mental disability and he or she will not be able to support him or herself?  How can you plan for your child’s care when you are no longer around?  That’s where special needs planning comes in.

Before consulting with an expert (this is not a do-it-yourself project) you need to organize your and your child’s financial and medical information.  Like many people, you probably have social security numbers, phone numbers, etc. in various places.  That is why it is important to have this information in an easy to access place.  Click here to see what information needs to be gathered and documented.

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Retirement Planning: Understanding Social Security Benefits

Social secruityNavigating the issue of Social Security benefits (SSB) can be a difficult process for individuals nearing the age of retirement.

Generally it is advised to wait as long as possible before taking SSB, however it is sometimes necessary for an individual to begin collecting these payments early. If the individual is able to continue working while collecting social security benefits it may be possible to increase the overall profit.

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How You Benefit from Powers of Attorney

A health care power of attorney is an essential part of your estate plan.

A health care power of attorney is an essential part of your estate plan.

When planning for the future of an elderly family member or child with special needs, you should consider preparing a powers of attorney. Powers of attorney are a simple and inexpensive way to help manage financial and medical accounts if you or your loved one is no longer able to make decisions clearly.  For reasons of simplicity and clarity, it is usually better to have separate financial and medical powers of attorney.

Powers of attorney eliminates the worry and stress of managing financial and medical accounts during a time of incapacitation. Powers of attorney are prepared by your attorney and give control over financial and medical accounts to an agent, who is normally a family member or trusted friend. The agent is then granted legal authority to manage the principal’s accounts, usually while he or she is unable to.

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Planning for the Future of a Child with Special Needs Five Mistakes that can Cost you

Special Needs childrenThe care of your child with special needs is extremely important now, but it is equally important in the future. Deciding how to care for your child with special needs after your death or if you become incapacitated is vital. Here are 5 costly mistakes to take into consideration when deciding how to provide the best care for your child in the future.

 

Mistake #1: Disinheritance.

Do not rely on government supported care programs like SSI or Medicaid. Although these programs provide some benefits, they provide little more than the essentials to survive. These programs also do not guarantee that your child will be looked after once you are gone or if you become incapacitated. A more trustworthy and viable option is establishing a Special Needs Trust. A trust will provide a strong foundation for your child and guarantees that he or she is cared for. Continue Reading Planning for the Future of a Child with Special Needs Five Mistakes that can Cost you

What to do with an Inherited IRA account

Are you expecting to inherit an IRA account from a parent or spouse? According to a recent article on the AARP website, there are some things you should know before you cash in the account.

The spouse inherits:

In the case of a husband or wife getting the IRA when the spouse dies, the funds can be transferred to his or her account. Another alternative is to retitle the IRA. That involves having the account retitled as “Bill Smith IRA (deceased Aug. 1, 2012) for the benefit of Lisa Smith, beneficiary.” Only then, can Lisa start taking money, penalty-free.  Yet, once Lisa turns 59½ , she has to retitle the account in her name. Doing that allows her to defer withdrawals until she turns 70½.

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