Special Needs Family Planning

As the parent of a child with special needs, you know how rewarding—and challenging—caring for your loved one can be.

And even though you’ve got it all under control right now, you can’t help worrying about the future. After all, someday your child will have to go on without you, and you know how expensive it can be to maintain their quality of life. That’s why a Special Needs Trust can be a tremendous source of comfort.

A Special Needs Trust is a legal instrument that helps concerned parents like you set money aside for your child’s future care. Best of all, it does it without reducing your child’s eligibility for public assistance programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) 1. Let’s take a look at how these trusts work:

A trust protects your child’s assets—and eligibility.

If your child relies on government assistance, it’s important to know that many of these programs have strict asset limitations (usually $2,000). A Special Needs Trust can keep your child from exceeding these limits by making sure any assets he or she would otherwise inherit go directly into the trust. That way, you don’t have to worry about jeopardizing your child’s eligibility for assistance, and you can be sure that any money you earmark for his or her care will be used exclusively for that purpose.

You can fund a trust with a wide variety of assets.

You can use almost any combination of assets to fund your Special Needs Trust: stocks, bonds, real estate—even the proceeds from a life insurance policy (provided you name the Trust as the beneficiary). In fact, a whole or universal life insurance policy can be a cost-effective way to fund the trust since they both pay a death benefit 2 and any cash value they generate will continue to grow tax-deferred until your death.

Make sure you use a qualified professional.

Your child’s future is too important to leave anything to chance. While Special Needs Trusts have been around for years, they are complex legal instruments that have to be set up properly. Be sure to work with an attorney who has plenty of experience in this area, as well as a thorough knowledge of wills and estates.

It takes a special person to care for a child with special needs and to adequately prepare for their future. With a Special Needs Trust, you can take comfort in the fact that you have done everything you can to give your child the resources he or she will need to lead a long and happy life.


Special Needs Forum

One of the things that come with a child with special needs is confusion and a feeling of being overwhelmed. The ordinary things in life that parents may take for granted are big concerns and obstacles for families who have a child with special needs. In many communities, there is no one single resource that has all the answers or that can provide all the referrals that a family with a child with special needs requires. In Austin and Central Texas, we have the Special Needs Forum.

The Special Needs Forum is a resource for families with children with special needs. Presentations are given throughout the school year that address emotional, legal and financial concerns that the presenters have learned from helping hundreds of families with children with special needs.

This year’s forum events will help you learn:

  • How to build a protection plan for your child with special needs that will last a lifetime.
  • How to ensure your child with special needs won’t lose important government benefits.
  • How to ensure you are always able to make decisions for your child with special needs once they are an adult.
  • How to ensure that someone who knows how to care for your child with special needs is always there.
  • How to get the most out of your savings and social security to ensure your child has resources.


Location: 6200 Bridgepoint Parkway, Building IV, Second Floor, Austin, TX 78730
(Take a right off the elevator and the main room will be immediately on the left)
Time: 11:30am – 1pm
Phone: (512) 329-4233
Fees: Complimentary

Register Now For Any of the Events Listed Below


The 2017-18 Special Needs Forum line-up:

What to Expect When Applying for Your Child to Move to a Residential Community? | November 9th, 2017

Various living arrangements are out there for adults with special needs. What types of things can you expect when you apply for your child to move to a new residential community? We’ll have the admissions coordinators from a number of different central-Texas-based residential communities on hand to answer questions.


Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Accounts | January 11, 2018

You’ve heard of special needs trusts, but what are they and why do you need one? What is the difference between a Special Needs Trust and an ABLE account? How does a special needs trust work on conjunction with government benefits? We’ll answer these questions and many more about the workings of a Special Needs Trust.


SSI: You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers | February 8th, 2018

We’ll discuss how to get started with your Supplemental Security Income application and review the steps along the process. Understand the vital importance of why this needs to be done as soon as your child obtains age 18. We are very fortunate to have a coordinator from the Central Texas Social Security office lead this presentation.


How Much Savings Do I Need to Help Provide for my Child’s Lifetime? | March 8, 2018

Many people with a child with special needs are concerned and want to know how much savings is needed to ensure their child is cared for a lifetime. Learn from professional financial advisors about how much savings and social security your child will require.


Residential Choices: Central Texas’s Best Options | April 20th, 2018

This year, we will bring even more options together that will allow you to determine which ones may fit your family's specific needs. This session is not only for those currently deciding on residential options, but for those who are planning years in advance. Come and network at this well attended event. Please note that this event will be held at Marbridge.

Event Schedule:

9am-10:30am: Innovative Programs and Practices for Adults with IDD
10:30am: Break
10:45am–11:45: Special Needs Forum: Residential Housing Options
11:45-1:00pm: Lunch; tours of Marbridge
1:00pm-2:30pm: Residential Housing Options(Continues)
2:30pm: Adjournment of Symposium


Putting it all Together: The 10 Important Steps to Take to Build a Fortress of Protection for your Child | May 10th, 2018

Do you ever go to a seminar thinking you will go away with all the answers only to feel even more overwhelmed when you leave? This session reviews everything we have discussed over the past year. We will review the 10 most important and manageable steps you will need to take to build a fortress of protection for your child.



1 Neither New York Life nor its agents provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax and legal advisors before taking any action.
2 Provided premium requirements are met.
SMRU #1660025