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Financial planning for disabled offspring charity?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:51 am
by sailaway
I have a number of friends with children with varying levels of disabilities. One or two who have little hope their children will even be self sufficient. While I donate to the specific charities that they recommend, I was wondering if there is a charity focused on helping families in this situation with financial and estate planning? Or perhaps someone here has been involved with a condition specific charity that does help families with this issue that is not specific to any given condition?

Re: Financial planning for disabled offspring charity?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:13 pm
by Pandemic Bangs
Family has some experience with this, unfortunately.

Charities are great -- make sure they are well-vetted through sites like Charity Navigator because the small local one-offs can be hard to police. The bigger the charity, the fewer dollars will make it to those with whom you are personally connected, of course.

Sounds like you are looking for an approach that could more directly benefit these specific families? It's tricky as I'm sure you know since available assets can impact the kids' and families' ability to access state and local resources for the disabled. Many families use a special-needs trust for this purpose -- to keep the dollars out of the child's name. The only one I am very familiar with has lots of restrictions on how the assets are managed (conservative investments, commercial trustee) and consequently is not very cost-effective.

There are terrific trust-savvy folks on this forum.

Re: Financial planning for disabled offspring charity?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:36 pm
by musicmom
Its commendable that you are looking for an effective way to support families of special needs choldren.

We have an adult disabled daughter. She will never be self supporting. It has been a huge challenge for us to learn the multiple programs in our state that assist permanently disabled people.
We've pieced together our knowledge from other parents, alumni group of her special needs school, social security, department of community affairs at the state, division of vocational rehab, lawyers for special needs trust, etc etc.

In NJ, we have the nonprofit ARC which will refer families to resources. They hold webinars outlining steps families can take as their now adult child ages out of school entitlements.
Perhaps there is a similar organization in your state.

We've been grateful to all who have helped us.
Our daughter is living a full life with housemates and support staff. And a social calendar better than ours has ever been.
Im almost not worried about leaving this world anymore.

Re: Financial planning for disabled offspring charity?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:42 pm
by bsteiner
Any law firm with a good trusts and estates group deals with planning for children with special needs on a regular basis. The trust for the child with special needs is essentially the same as the trust for the child without special needs, except that, depending on the nature of the disability, the child with special needs may have a lesser degree of control (or no control) over his/her trust.

We add a couple of paragraphs to make it clear that it's intended that the trust be used to supplement but not supplant means-tested government benefits, but that's more for show than anything else.

There are lots of people trying to take advantage of parents of children with special needs.