The idea of planning for a lifetime of protection for a family member or loved one with special needs is often overwhelming. Lifetime of Hope is designed to help our clients as they work through the steps in developing a comprehensive plan1 for their loved one by breaking down the process into three segments: Lifetime Planning, Needs and Resources and Estate Planning.
Often, the first step is to understand how planning for an individual with special needs differs from other planning and the components that may be involved in developing the individual's comprehensive plan. Additionally, we want to assist you in evaluating your current plan and identifying any potential shortfalls and opportunities. We have created a nine question Scorecard to start the conversation that concentrates on critical planning areas. Finally, it is incredibly important that you are aware of the many potential planning pitfalls that exist in the area of special needs planning so we can help to avoid them. The following information and tools will be useful as you begin to engage in the planning process.
Needs & Resources
As those who have family members or loved ones with special needs know, developing a plan to protect the individual’s lifelong support is often more important than developing their own retirement and long-term income protection plan. As part of the process, we want to assist you in thinking about what the income and expenses of the individual with special needs may look like in order to help determine what his or her lifelong support needs may be. Once we understand what the future needs will be, we can compare that to what resources are currently available to give you an analysis as to whether any shortfalls currently exist. Of course, part of understanding what resources will be available to an individual with special needs is also understanding what benefits may be provided by the government to help supplement your own resources.
Your death or disability can have a profound impact on the life and care of your family member or loved one with special needs. Without a properly developed estate plan, the support and resources available to the individual could be negatively impacted. We want to ensure that your overall plan takes into account the important legal documents that you will need and other steps you need to consider in order to provide your loved one and their resources with the proper protection.