Supports and Services
Families often start legal and financial planning in a state of fear and anxiety. They are overwhelmed with the decisions they need to make about their financial lives and future planning. They need to do something and so they get a special-needs trust in place. But what happens next? How does that trust help a family create the most fulfilling life for their loved one with Down syndrome?
The special-needs trust is a crucial planning element and the one that starts families on the journey of preserving government benefits, saving for retirement, and building a financial legacy to care for each member of the family. Without a trust, countless benefits can be lost, potentially costing millions. Many families have taken action to have a trust in place but they do not always understand what to do with that trust, how to best use it, and what steps to take next.
This workshop guides participants through the pitfalls and best practices families have encountered in the months and years after they have put their estate plan in place. Some pitfalls include keeping the trust secret from family members and the Social Security Administration, taking either the wrong steps to fund the trust or no steps at all and then wondering what happens next. The workshop will include an update on ABLE Act accounts and how these complement a trust, but do not replace them for most families.