The Financial Component

The Financial component does answer two questions:

  1. How much will it cost to assure that your family member with a disability will have that quality of life you indicated in the Letter of Intent?
  2. Where will the money come from?

The first step in answering "how much will it cost?, is to determine how much money you are now spending for items not provided through governmental programs. Don't forget to include the new TV, the vacation, the birthday and Christmas presents, that new sweater and those socks and shoes you picked up last Saturday. We can help you by providing a checklist that will help you determine the average amount of supplemental income that is spent.

Now that you have determined the average monthly supplemental amount you spend for that "quality of life", we have to use that number to determine the ultimate amount of money that will be needed to fund the Supplemental Needs Trust. This method will assure "supplemental income" for life. Any remaining funds, when the beneficiary dies, goes to whomever the grantor or originator of the trust designates. This may be a good time to remember the non-profit advocacy organization that has been so helpful. We recommend that you use conservative interest and inflation figures.

Most families have other obligations that also must be considered such as education plans for other family members, retirement of the primary caregiver and possibly business obligations. All of these situations must be considered by completing a through estate or financial plan. This plan must assure that all of these obligations are coordinated so they will work together with the Life Plan for the person with a disability. Where the money will come from varies. It can be from inheritances, savings, real estate, gifts and life insurance. It is important to understand that the total amount doesn't have to be placed in the trust today. It only has to be there when the parents/spouse are no longer there to provide the supplemental needs. Usually only a small amount of money is placed in the trust initially and then that amount is built by regular deposits. All alternative methods must be explored.

Please contact us at Disability Planning Specialists for information and planning for you and your family to assist you in preparing this financial component.