When a Spouse Abandons a Person with Special Needs Dec 2, 2014

It's unfortunate, but it happens. One person in a marriage/relationship leaves because he or she can't deal with he demands of living with special needs. If you've been left to cope on your own, there are some financial matters you should consider. This article will focus on helpful information for adults who have special needs whose spouses ave abandoned them. Read the full article

The Legal Side of Financial Strategies Nov 4, 2014

Creating a financial strategy – which includes financial and legal elements – is smart, practical, and satisfying. Especially when a family member has special needs. Read the full article

One Trust, Multiply Beneficiaries: Creating a Trustfor Caregivers and Care Recipient Oct 2, 2014

When a family member has special needs, often a special needs trust is recommended as part of the family's overall financial strategy. But in certain circumstances, creating one trust to icnlude all children in the family may be a smarter tactic. Read the full article

Home Renovation Resources: Help in Making Your Home Your Home Sep 3, 2014

Is your home user friendly? For all the people in your family? Is it practical for your family member with special needs? Whether it needs simple changes or major ones, home renovation – rather than a move to a new place – might be the answer. And resources abound to help you make the makeover.  Read the full article

Working Togethe While Getting Divorced: What You Should Know Nov 5, 2013

Going through a divorce is tough.  Raising your kids with an ex-spouse, each of you on your own, makes it more difficult.  And if you have a child with special needs, the challenge can be even more arduous.  At this time, it's even more critical for spouses to work together for the financial wellbeing of their child -- and themselves.Read the full article

Getting Your Financial Strategy Done: Who Does What? What’s the Process? Oct 3, 2013

Don't have time to create a financial strategy
for your family? Afraid of all the work involved?
Do you simply not know where to begin?
Here's what it takes to get it done.  Read the full article.

Transition Services: Did You Know They’re Included in an IEP? Sep 16, 2013

If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) at school, you should be aware that planning for your child's future after high school is one of the components of the program.

Eight years ago, some changes were made to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regarding the transition services it includes. The law strives to help your child move from secondary school to adulthood by providing rules for schools to follow. Yet many parents of students with learning disabilities who have an IEP don'trealize these services are available, orlearn about them too late to make the best use of them. Read the full article.

Special Care: Should You Disinherit Your Child with Special Needs? Aug 4, 2013

Disinherit my child? How could I do that? What would people think? I don't even know where I'd begin. How, exactly, would I do that?

These are some questions that may come to mind if someone suggests you disinherit your child with special needs. Its intimidating advice – and wrong. And what you may imagine are answers to those questions might keep you from taking any action whatsoever. That's not good. You need to find the right answers, so take a breath and read on.
Financial Planning Update, supported by MassMutual Life Insurance Company. Originally published in EP Magazine, August 2013 READ MORE

Providing for a Child with Special Needs—Long Term: A Three-Part Plan Feb 4, 2013

Each part of the plan plays a distinct and important role in the care of a child with a physical, mental or emotional disability.

For many families with a special needs child, no matter what his or her age, the questions concerning who will take care of the child in the future and the source of the money to support that child, are daunting thoughts. Some choose to postpone planning rather than address the difficult reality that faces them. However, early, careful planning can secure a disabled child's future, long after his or her parents are no longer around. READ MORE

Family Holiday Parties: A Time for Sharing Fun, Sharing Facts Dec 6, 2012

We're in the midst of the biggest holiday season. It's a time when many families gather together to celebrate, catch up on family news, and enjoy the company of friends and family members not seen often enough during the year.Read the full article.

For a Family with Special Needs, Life Care Planning Takes a Traditional Financial Strategy to a Higher Level. Nov 1, 2012

"Every person or family has unique circumstances," he says. "Once the individual or parents accept those circumstances, they realize they must begin to deal with the issues now, not later. I help them plan for a variety of scenarios, to find ways to take care of the short and long term needs and goals." Read the full article.

Stepping into Guardianship: A Review of the Process Oct 1, 2012

A guardianship can be a very good thing. If you've heard talk about guardianships being too restrictive regarding an individual's independence and rights, don't let that sway you from considering one. There are valid reasons for having one, such as preserving funds for the person's use during their lifetime or ensuring he or she receives proper medical care. Read the full article

Fight the Good Fight: Getting Special Education Services for Your Child Sep 1, 2012

"If a parent is not all this and more," he explains, "the child's education suffers." It shouldn't be this way. Parents shouldn't have to fight for their child's education. Not in this time of No Child Left Behind 2legislation, and especially not with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)3. But it is this way. Read the full article

A Health Strategy? It's Just What the Doctor (and Privacy Laws) Ordered Aug 1, 2012

"In our studies to become qualified to serve individuals and families with special needs, we learn that a health strategy is just as important as a wealth strategy." Read the full article

Government Benefits for Children with Special Needs Jul 1, 2012

Do you have a child with special needs who receives government benefits? Have you applied for all the programs and services he or she may be eligible to receive? The federal government has many programs to help improve the quality of life for your family. Read the full article

Your Letter of Intent: A Guide to Caring for Your Loved One Jun 1, 2012

One of the most useful documents to have on hand when you have a child (or spouse) with special needs is a completed Letter of Intent. Yet as valuable as it is to have, many families – regardless of their good intentions – don't have one. It takes time to complete, needs routine updating, and can lead some parents into conversations they've been avoiding. So why do it? Read the full article

Annual Review of Your Financial Strategy: Why Bother? May 1, 2012

If you're a regular reader of the financial section of Exceptional Parent magazine, you're quite aware of the value and importance of creating a financial strategy. Hopefully you've met with legal, tax and financial services professionals who have looked at your financial picture. Perhaps all it took was to put some simple measures in place. Or you might have needed a more comprehensive financial strategy. Either way, it can be a tremendous sense of relief to put those financial worries to rest. Read the full article

TRUST ISSUES: Four Common Concerns People Have About Special Needs Trusts Apr 1, 2012

A special needs trust (SNT) is a key component in a financial strategy for a person who has special needs. Read the full article

Technology Opens Communication for Children with Special Needs Mar 1, 2012

There s a lot of press lately about the use of iPads®*and other technology to help people especially children with special needs - learn and communicate. But does it work? Read the full article

Call for Help: Where to Begin When You're New to Special Needs Feb 1, 2012

As quick as it takes for an accident to occur or a diagnosis to be made, a family can find itself in the community of people with special needs. Suddenly, life is very different. Read the full article

Creating a Residential Option for Your Child Dec 1, 2011

"One of the biggest fears of parents is that there are care giving options out there in the world that are as good or better than what they've been providing. Read the full article

The Special Needs Trust:The Necessity of Diligent Trustee Selection And Effective Oversight of Operations Dec 1, 2010

The special needs trust (SNT) is an effective legal tool that allows parents and care givers to provide targeted financial assistance to a person with a disability or other special need. By establishing a properly structured and worded SNT naming the child or adult as the trust beneficiary, parents are assured that the person with the disability will receive support over the long term, without jeopardizing his or her public benefits. Read the attached SpecialCare.Article

Planning Ahead For When Your Special Child Turns 18 Mar 12, 2010

Planning ahead is wise for all. It is essential for the future of a child with special needs who is about to turn 18. In most states, a child's 18th birthday signifies the moment when that child is legally presumed to be competent to make his or her own medical, financial, and educational decisions. Unless parents take precautionary steps to overcome that legal presumption, their child - legally - could quit school, sign up to purchase expensive toys or leave home. If an 18-year-old child is ill, the parents tech nically lose the ability to be informed about the illness or to make medical decisions for their child. What precautionary steps to consider, as that 18th birthday approaches, is the subject of this article.  Read the full article. 

The Future of Medicare and Medicaid: How Will You Fare? Apr 15, 2011

Any person (or parent of a young person) with special needs who receives Medicare or Medicaid benefits (as well as seniors or other individuals who currently or will soon receive these benefits) should be aware of how decisions made during this year could affect the medical services they receive and their out-of-pocket medical costs. READ MORE

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When a Spouse Abandons a Person with Special Needs Feb 2, 2015

It's unfortunate, but it happens. One person in a marriage/relationship leaves because he or she can't deal with the demands of living with special needs. If you've been left to cope on your own, there are some financial matters you should consider. This article will focus on helpful information for adults who have special needs whose spouses have abandoned them.   Read the full article

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