Checklist: Special Needs Planning for a Loved One

If you are a parent or guardian of a special needs loved one, you may be overwhelmed with the thought of actively managing their day-to-day finances, while also planning for their financial future. Before jumping into the planning process it's important to familiarize yourself with entitlements and government benefits available to your loved one. Leaning on professionals, like a financial advisor and special needs planning attorney, can help you feel more secure in your decisions and next steps. 

We’ve compiled a helpful (and downloadable!) special needs planning checklist complete with 10 must-do items that will help set your loved one up for financial success. Each item details the necessary action and recommended expertise needed to help you check the item off your list. 

Checklist: Special Needs Planning for a Loved One

  • Establish a plan with a qualified attorney who specializes in special needs families.
  • Consider a fiduciary financial advisor for the implementation of a financial plan that is Uniform Prudent Investor Act (UPIA) compliant.
  • Compare an advisor-based solution with a pooled special needs trust to determine the best solution from a fiduciary perspective.
  • Consider entitlements and government benefits in the overall scope of a special-needs plan.
  • Utilize funded and generic resources in meeting the needs of a special-needs beneficiary.
  • Establish a life care plan and update it as circumstances change.
  • Consider collaboration across environments for fidelity of implementation of chosen modalities to avoid regression.
  • Work with advisors who acknowledge in writing their duty to protect government benefits while administering the needs of a neurodiverse beneficiary.
  • Consider successor trustees who will accept trusteeship for the trust estate while also protecting government benefits while administering the beneficiary's life care plan (many fiduciaries do not work with IDD consumers).
  • Work with a financial advisor who specializes in special needs planning and understands the importance of short and long term financial goals.

We encourage you to bookmark this page or download our free checklist by completing the form below to help keep track of your completed items and future to-dos. 

Download Checklist: Special Needs Planning for a Loved One