Special Needs Planning

Help your family plan for the future by consulting with experienced Financial Advisors, Melissa Pilzner, Beth Marshall & Dave Herbeck.

Conquering the financial challenges of having a special needs child or family member can be overwhelming – especially since placing assets in the individual’s name for future expenses can sometimes cause more harm than good. This is why it is important to have a knowledgeable financial team in place to assist with decisions.

 

Choosing the Right Types of Financial Accounts

Current law states that if a special needs individual’s assets exceed $2,000, then he or she may be ineligible for Social Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, or any other means-tested governmental benefits; however, through use of a Special Needs Trust, strategically structured joint investment account, or the new 529A Plan, those assets can accumulate beyond the $2,000 mark.

Each of those three types has different benefits and limitations, so it is important to consult with a financial team of advisors and attorneys to find the best one for your family’s situation.

Partnering with Local Attorneys on Trusts

To help provide our clients with suitable financial advice, we partner with several local special needs attorneys to ensure trusts are set up and updated properly.

The main purpose of these documents is to provide funds for areas not covered in full (or at all) by government benefits and to ensure the special needs individual would still be taken care of if the primary caretakers were no longer around. Provisions in the Special Needs Trusts often center on housing, health, education, and financial decisions.

Please note: Financial Advisors Melissa Pilzner, Beth Marshall, and Dave Herbeck do not offer tax or legal services.

Understanding the New 529A Plan

Senate has recently passed Casey’s Bill, also known as the Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, to assist individuals with disabilities and their families in creating tax-sheltered savings accounts to pay for long-term care.

What does this mean for you? Once the plans are established by the various states, money can be contributed on an after-tax basis to grow tax-free (similar to a Roth IRA), and up to $100,000 can be set aside in the account until Social Security Income (SSI) benefits are impacted. Plus, these funds can be used for a variety of areas, such as education, housing, financial management, and transportation. The only hindrance is that with such a new act, we will have to wait for states to create these documents and make them available, which could take a few years.