Kim C. Christensen                                                              
 
Certified Financial Planner    
Registered Investment Adviser        
Registered Investment Advisor
SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING

As the parent of a son with special needs (Down syndrome), I am extremely aware of the desire of parents like us who want to be able to provide for their children now, and in the future when we are no longer here.  This requires financial plans and estate planning that not only account for our needs and the needs of our typical children, but a lifetime of needs for the child (or adult) with the disability.  Through my own personal experience, as well as the relationships I have made with estate planning and elder law attorneys who are experts in the field, we can put together strategies that relieve the concern and anxiety that many parents, siblings, and relatives face in planning for the financial and emotional security of our loved ones.

The key elements to a special needs plan are your will, a letter of intent, and most likely, a trust.  Your will specifies who will take care of your children, including your special needs child, and what happens with your stuff, including your assets.  Most of us would like to be able to provide something for our special needs children or family members.  However, if you do leave assets directly to that person, it would probably disqualify them from receiving government benefits like Medicaid, SSI, etc.  The government requires that assets be "spent down" before they will provide the benefits.  Planning through properly worded trusts can avoid this.  It requires estate planning attorneys and advisors who are experienced in this area.

There are similar issues for disabled adults.  Disabilities can be present from birth, or due to accidents.

Having been down the path myself, I know what needs to be done, my family has done it, and I can help you.  I also know what to watch out for and avoid.
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