You can say it all through a card. Let Minted.com help you relay that message to your loved ones.
I needed to take a moment out of my day to not only give a big “shout out” to an amazing lady – Robyn Rosenberger, but also to say thank you!
Robyn reached out to me and asked if she could send my son Jacob a TinySuperHeroes cape for all his strength and determination, and because of his special powers to fill a room with love. Continue reading
For families raising a child with special needs, balancing the emotional and financial responsibilities can be challenging. Often your current situation is so all-encompassing that long-term planning is pushed aside.
Take for example the story of 20-year-old Patrick, who has autism.
Planning for the future always seemed far off for his parents as they concentrated on meeting their son’s everyday needs. But when Patrick was selected by his school, Performing Arts Studio West, to participate in a SunTrust Bank television commercial highlighting the importance of special needs planning, it resonated with his family.
I work with a unique national division of trust and estate planners at SunTrust Bank who specialize in helping families plan for their loved ones with special needs. While each family has a unique set of circumstances, most parents have the same concerns – who will take care of our child when we pass away and how much will it cost?
To best answer these questions, it’s important that a financial planner first understand your daily experiences and long-term wishes so that he or she can develop a plan that meets your needs. Through personal conversations, our advisors often find that many families do not know what options are available to them or what questions need to be answered to begin the process.
With that in mind, here are five important steps to take when planning for your child:
1. Engage Professionals. The sooner you begin thinking about your child’s financial future – and your own – the more time you will have to save and prepare. It is critical to seek out professionals who specifically focus on planning considerations for individuals with disabilities. This type of planning takes a team of professionals working together to learn about your family’s needs and develop a customized plan that is right for all parties involved.
2. Identify the best trust for your situation. Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) are ideal for parents who want to ensure their child will be eligible now or in the future for federal and state benefit programs such as Medicaid and/or SSI. Furthermore, a well-crafted SNT will address many of the care considerations you have regarding your child after you’re gone. Although there are different kinds of SNTs, they share the common goal of helping a person maintain eligibility for the benefit programs mentioned above. Whether your child recovers money from a lawsuit or receives an inheritance from a deceased loved one or assets from family members, a trust solution exists to best accommodate your situation. Ask your advisor which type of trust is best suited for your family.
3. Carefully select a trustee. Identifying the right trustee to administer your child’s trust is one of the most important decisions you will make during the planning process. Options range from a corporate trustee such as a bank to a family member or nonprofit organization. Alternatively, some parents prefer to name several trustees or add family members as “trust protectors.” This approach can give you greater confidence that your child will be cared for by building additional accountability into the trust. It also ensures that personal care decisions related to the trust beneficiary will involve individuals who have a more in-depth understanding of the situation. Your advisor should share the pros and cons of each option so you can make an informed decision.
4. Update legal documents. As with any major life event, your last will and testament–and any other legal documents–need to be carefully reviewed and likely updated to reflect the needs of your child. An attorney specializing in elder care and special needs law should be consulted and they should consider your overall plan when drafting the legal documents. Depending on the existing plan in place, if any, the attorney may recommend additional documents such as a durable power of attorney for health care, durable power of attorney for financial affairs and a binding description of your guardianship wishes.
5. Remember your retirement. Just as important as securing the best interests of your child with special needs is ensuring that you have a stable retirement plan for yourself. Caring for your child after your working years will be more gratifying and less stressful if you have accumulated the assets necessary for a comfortable retirement. Meeting your child’s daily needs as he or she grows up can be financially challenging, but find ways to continue saving aggressively for your future as well.
All parents worry about their children, but those concerns can be amplified when your child has special needs. It’s important to know that there are resources to help you create a plan that provides peace of mind and helps ensure the quality of your child’s future. When looking forward, the view can be much more promising knowing that through careful, early planning, long-term financial well-being is possible.
Bill Frazier, SVP at SunTrust Bank, oversees a unique national division of trust and estate professionals who serve the financial needs of families who have loved ones with disabilities. You may contact Bill directly by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
SunTrust Bank and its affiliates and the directors, officers, employees and agents of SunTrust Bank and its affiliates (collectively, “SunTrust”) are not permitted to give legal or tax advice. While SunTrust can assist clients in the areas of estate and financial planning, only an attorney can draft legal documents, provide legal services and give legal advice. Clients of SunTrust should consult with their legal and tax advisors prior to entering into any financial transaction or estate plan. Because it cannot provide legal services or give legal advice, SunTrust’s services or advice relating to “estate planning” or “wealth transfer planning” are limited to (i) financial planning, multigenerational wealth planning, investment strategy, (ii) management of trust assets, investment management and trust administration, and (iii) working with the client’s legal and tax advisors in the implementation of an estate plan.
I love all kinds of handbags, totes, and yes even wristlets! I love them in all shapes, colors and sizes that’s why I have three Rubbermaid bins of them.
This is my closet! See my three Rubbermaid bins of handbags. I have them sorted into seasons and travel.
So whenever I get the opportunity to do a review on some sort of accessory be it tote or handbag, jewelry, scarves, etc. I don’t turn it down. Continue reading
This year Jacob wanted to have a pirate birthday. He loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Captain Feather Sword from the Wiggles. So Mommy delivered.
Here is how we celebrated my “Little Man’s” 7th birthday.
Pirate Garland from Wishworks
For me it started with the decor. The color scheme of red, black, white and gold were carried out in the decorations, food, games and even the Welcome Wreath that greeted our little pirates. Red, gold and black beads were spread throughout, as well as available for the kids to wear. Gold coins were sprinkled around and used for the Welcome Wreath. I also used a fish net, sea glass and colored gems to decorate the food table.
A curation of all stories, blog posts, headlines, organizations, resources, bloggers and parents who advocate for a person with special needs or any disability.
What a way to start off a great weekend. Got in touch with an old friend that I haven’t seen in awhile to see if she wanted to catch up. We first decided to do coffee, but plans changed and we ended up having lunch at a small local bar.
This of course turned out to be a better decision. It was great starting off with a small cocktail, as we caught up on what was happening in each of our lives.
It was so nice to sit there and enjoy having a cocktail at 11:30a.m. with no judgement being passed by either of us, just complete understanding of why we both needed one that early in the morning.
As the lunch ended we gave each other a big hug and said to each other “don’t let so much time pass until the next time we see each other”, and headed off with the rest of our day. Continue reading
An open letter to my “special & determined son,
Last night was a long, dark night. As I sat next to your bed rubbing your back and listening to you whine with every cough you took, I realized this is where I’m supposed to be.
As the same music that we have been listening to since you were two weeks old plays in the background, certain songs bring me back to those long, dark nights sitting next to your bed in the NICU.
Anxiously watching ever monitor that was hooked up to you. Hoping that you didn’t hit certain numbers that would make the alarm blare in my ears, causing me to rush over to your bed, only to see my precious little baby hooked up to tubes and wires. All those long, dark nights I realized this is where I’m supposed to be.
Whether you do or don’t, I pray to God, that as my face gets another wrinkle on it and the circles under my eyes get bigger and darker from the 5 hours of sleep I usually get a night, to give me the strength to care for you when you are in pain and want to be comforted, because this is where I’m supposed to be.