People with special needs children have a lot to worry about, especially when it comes to the future of the children. They want to ensure that their children have the necessary funds needed in the event that the parents are no longer there. On the other hand, too much money left to a disabled child could become problematic, particularly if the child is receiving funds from the government.
Merrill Lynch is now stepping in to give some financial planning tools to parents of special needs children, writes Forbes. Met Life is also providing guidance to special needs families.
For starters, both groups have an online calculator that helps you determine special needs financing and how much you'll need to save, reports The New York Times. This can be very important because special needs planning can take into account a variety of financial issues, including the availability of assistance from the government.
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management has a program to help families manage their special needs related finances. The program was launched in 1999 and in 2007, the company began training its financial advisors to become "certified special needs advisors."
Another program of Merrill Lynch, known as Merrill Edge, has been training its investment advisors on special needs financing.
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management has typically catered to the affluent crowd. Merrill Edge is for those with assets generally ranging in the $50,000 to $250,000 figures.
Going back a little earlier in this blog post to the idea of receiving state assistance: One thing that parents need to be aware of is that the availability of state assistance can be jeopardized if the special needs child is receiving income from another source. So if the child is a trust fund baby, then those funds can get in the way of how much the child can receive from state assistance programs. That's why many families work with estate planning attorneys to set up special needs trusts.
The Merrill calculator and the Met Life calculator can help serve as a starting point in determining how to plan for a special needs child. Then, go see your estate planning attorney to make sure everyone in the family is provided for well into the future.
- New York Estate Planning Lawyers (FindLaw)
- Special Needs Trusts FAQ (FindLaw)
- Special Needs Trusts: A Planning Tool with Promise (FindLaw)