Sunday, January 26, 2014

Having An After-Plan

As a food allergy parent, I have many fears (as does any other parent). But one of my more prominent fears is how would my children be taken care of if something happened to me? Morbid, I know but still a fact of life that has to be considered. 

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Spafford of A Special Needs Plan. Unlike other groups that I have encountered, I felt the same true genuine passion that I feel about what I do within Andrew. Call it a gut feeling but speaking with him made me think about planning not just for my future but my childrens' futures as well. The founder, Ryan Platt, was kind enough to send me some great information to share with all of you. True to my word, I go with the motto "Sharing is caring" so please don't feel as if I am being pushy regarding this issue. As always, I am just sharing information that may be helpful to those who need it.

COMPLETING THE ENTIRE PUZZLE
A Special Needs Trust is Only One Piece of the Puzzle

Ryan Platt, Founder

Families with a special needs loved one are challenged with the day-to-day responsibilities of care and the weight of planning for the future. Families understand the significance of having a Special Needs Trust that is designed by a qualified attorney. A properly designed Trust clearly designates how resources and assets will be used, ensures the continuation of future government benefits, and most importantly, it helps to secure the Loved One’s quality of life.

What is a Special Needs Trust? Having a Special Needs Trust is important; however, it is only one piece that aids in properly planning for the future of your special needs loved one. The Special Needs Trust acts as one of the center pieces inside a puzzle. Without taking time to look at the back of the box to see what the entire puzzle looks like, it’s difficult to envision which pieces join together and how big the puzzle actually is. Similarly, many facets of a loved one’s future interconnect to lay together A Special Needs Plan™.

What Does a Special Needs Trust Ensure? Looking at the back of the puzzle box will show you how A Special Needs Plan™ connects the Special Needs Trust to the following pieces:
  • THE EDUCATION OF FUTURE CARE-GIVERS to clearly define the day-to-day living responsibilities, goals for the future, and complexities of daily decisions for the individuals who will care for your special loved one when the primary caregiver passes away.  
  • DISTRIBUTION RULES of trust and educating the trustee in the proper use of money. If money is used in a trust for the wrong reason, it could become disqualified and place future benefits in jeopardy. 
  • A PROACTIVE TAX STRATEGY to understand the position of taxes today, the probable increase in taxes and decrease in public benefits in the future, and to learn how to position your money and assets providing for your loved one and your loved one’s future, not for the government’s future. 
  • A CLEAR FUNDING STRATEGY for the future of the entire family. 
  • A COMMUNICATION STRATEGY that educates extended family members (especially grandparents) on the importance of gifting and leaving money in the “right” way so government benefits are not lost. 
  • CHANGE.  Life will change, and your loved one’s development very well may change over time. Therefore, it’s important that the comprehensive plan (including the Special Needs Trust) is designed with prudent flexibility to move with the ebbs and flows of life.

When all the pieces are sitting in the box, it’s overwhelming for families in determining where and how to get started. It’s critical to turn the box over and to keep the whole picture in front of you. At A Special Needs Plan™, we help families connect the right pieces to plan for and secure L.I.F.E.™ (Lasting Independence For Everyone™).

Who Needs A Plan? YOUR FAMILY needs a plan in place. It is our Mission to put a special needs plan in place for 1 Million families nationwide, so that the future is secure and your goals are carried out for your loved one with special needs. Call us and we will help! (800) SN9-8610 or email us at aspafford@aspecialneedsplan.com or to learn more about us visit us at www.aspecialneedsplan.com . We also invite you to view our new education site where we have more articles and videos located at www.specialneedsknowledge.org/news

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