This is the first generation in which parents of special needs children need to plan for their care after they are gone. Special needs children are outliving their parents.
Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) May 24, 2012
Death is an unpleasant subject to discuss, especially when it comes to financial planning. It is estimated that 58 percent of Americans die without wills, leaving loved ones financially vulnerable. Derek Overstreet, president of New Millennium Insurance Services, Inc., said he now helps families with children with disabilities craft solid plans for retirement because having financial affairs in order is more important than ever, especially when caring for loved ones with special needs.
“You must have your finances in order when caring for someone with special needs,” Overstreet said. “Technology has advanced and people are living longer. Those with special needs are living longer.”
According to Overstreet, the average life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased from 25 years in 1983 to 60 years today. This statistic helps show why it is critical to protect assets and have a secure retirement plan when caring for someone with special needs. Click here to learn how financial planners like New Millennium can help.
“This is the first generation in which parents of special needs children need to plan for their care after they are gone. Special needs children are outliving their parents,” Overstreet stressed.
The income planner explained that parents of children with disabilities or other special needs have different concerns when planning for retirement.
“A lot of my clients feel as though they have given their children a nice life, and now that they are educated, they want them to earn their own way in the world. They don’t want to leave their children an inheritance,” Overstreet said. “That’s obviously not the case with parents of special needs children.”
Overstreet outlined six documents parents of children with special needs should have when planning for retirement:
- Last will and testament
- General durable power of attorney for financial affairs
- Durable power of attorney for health care
- Letter of intent
- Guardianship plans
- Special needs trust
“Everyone should have the first three documents,” Overstreet explained. “But the last three are especially important for parents with children with special needs.”
A letter of intent is a document filled with important information about the child.
“Letters of intent spell out what the parents want to have happen. It removes contention and argument among surviving family members,” Overstreet said.
Overstreet recommended naming a guardian for children with disabilities in case their parents die.
“About 10 years ago, I did my own trust work and at that point, my oldest child was 13. There are certain ways that I wanted my child raised in the event that my wife and I passed, so I chose a guardian whose thoughts and beliefs are like mine,” Overstreet said. “Today, my oldest is 23, and my youngest is eight. I have changed my trust to make my oldest son the trustee if something happened to my wife or me. ”
Finally, parents of children with disabilities need to set up a special needs trust. This allows parents to ensure their children are financially secure without jeopardizing entitlement to public assistance.
“You want to provide for your son or daughter and make sure they are cared for in the way you would care for them,” said Overstreet. “If you don’t set up a special needs trust, you run the risk of your child becoming a ward of the state.”
Financial planners like New Millennium assist the parents of children with special needs in planning for retirement.
“I have a niece who has special needs,” Overstreet said. “I realize how important it is for parents of special needs children to get their affairs in order, that’s why I specialize in this type of retirement planning.”
About New Millennium
While most financial planners focus on growth, New Millennium specializes in helping clients use current investments to ensure a steady income stream throughout retirement. New Millennium believes in investing with a purpose, not simply diversifying portfolios. New Millennium helps clients define their retirement goals and structure investments to accomplish them. Please visit http://nmutah.com/ for more information.