Monday, September 30, 2013

Why a Special Needs Trust?

I think as parents we could all agree parenting is not always an easy job.
Some things we just get right and some things we just don’t?

As parent’s we can never be expected to know everything that our kids will need.
But we do know how much planning is involved when it comes to planning for our children’s future.
Planning for the parents of children with special needs can often become an extremely daunting task.
I am sure a question they are always asking themselves is who is going to take care of their special needs child when they are gone.

Special Needs Trust planning is something where the parents should seek the advice of an expert.
For parents of children with disabilities or special needs it is vital for them to have an effective estate plan, which puts them in control of their finances while they are alive giving them the peace of mind that their children will be taken care of in their absence.

A Special Needs Trust helps ensure that the beneficiary receives the benefits in the way the parents intended and protects them against losing access to the government benefits, which can be affected by as little at $2000 if your child was to receive this as inheritance directly.  Which in most cases because of lack of knowledge in this area, leads them to disinheriting their special needs child and they leave the money to someone who they think they can count on to take care of their child.  In most cases however this is not the best answer.

Special Needs trusts can be used to supplement and never replace the government benefits that special needs children are entitled to.  But parents need to be educated on any restrictions that could affect the benefits their child receives.  Special needs trusts should be created to provide additional benefits while protecting the assets of the special need child.

Creating a Special Needs Trust ensures peace of mind as it allows the assets to be managed by someone who has been previously chosen by the parents, because in most cases they cannot be managed by the child on their own and can prevent the assets from being wasted away.

Of course estate planning in the case of special needs planning is no less of an emotional roller-coaster than any other estate planning; it is always a difficult process to go through.
But it is very satisfying for the parents when they have done it, knowing that they now have the peace of mind that their children will be taken care of by people they have chosen and in the way that they have instructed when they no longer can.  Making this one of the most important things a parent of a special needs child can do for them.

So if you are the parent of a special needs child do not put it off, it is vitally important that you make the choices for your child’s future and that you do not leave it to chance.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Have you Reviewed your Beneficiaries Lately?

Have You reviewed your beneficiaries lately?
That’s not something that you think of doing very often. 
For some it may be something they ever really think about.
So maybe it just not that important.
Anyway I am just too busy to take care of that right now, and I thought I was done with all my ‘housekeeping’ chores when I opened my financial accounts.
Reviewing my beneficiaries, it doesn’t seem like an urgent task anyway, my money will all go to the right place in the end. Or will it? 
Reviewing our beneficiaries is more important than we think.
Actually it is something that should be considered a top priority on all your current investments, insurance policies and financial accounts.
How can this make that much of a difference, maybe the question you are asking yourself?
Here is why it needs to take top priority on our ‘to do list’.

Beneficiary Designation supersedes one’s will.
If your beneficiary information is not current, when you pass away your assets will more than likely be distributed to an unintended heir?  As the beneficiary that you have listed can and does it most cases supersede even an up to date will.

Tax Related Benefits.
Not naming a beneficiary or naming your estate can be as equally bad, as by doing this you could be giving up some tax strategy rights as well as control.  Having beneficiary designations can help extend tax related benefits and reduce the tax burden on your beneficiaries.

Take the Time to Review your Beneficiary Details.
Life transitions can change everything for us.  Recently been married, divorced, had a new baby or even a death in your family since you originally opened your accounts or got that life insurance policy?  Well it is time to review and get updated your beneficiary designations.  By taking the time to do this you will be ensuring your wishes are carried out and you will be preventing your loved ones from the added stress that comes with the legal complications at your time of death if not done.

It should not be one of those job’s you will get to later, call your advisor today, don’t be in doubt make sure you take care of this vitally important issue and give yourself the gift of peace of mind that your family will be taken care of in the event of your death.