Supporting those in your family with diverse needs and that are solely dependent on YOU
There are so many different variations of dependent diverse abilities and qualities in your community. There will be a fluctuation of available programs that are available for those that have disabilities. I guess that is how the government bodies look at our topic today. Navigating through the financial legislation in your own area, with people who fall into the category of having a disability. There are government run programs, or private programs which would be through the area’s non-profit program or a private business program. These would provide some community event information, or individual programs.
But, are there any programs out there to assist the family with organizing a plan?
No emergency planning for sure, some financial planning gets reviewed, usually by a financial Advisor. They can assist your in building on your assets or investments but usually no planning for other future plans. In each of the different areas we live in, you will need to study any available financial programs, or the income benefits available individuals with a disability in your own area. Since that is what “our system” calls it!
Some of the considerations would be:
- if the caregivers earn too much income, past the area’s maximum allowances will the benefits continue?
- if the caregivers pass away, will the benefits continue to the dependent daughter or son?
- If the caregivers pass away, will receiving any assets eliminate the benefits for the dependent son or daughter?
- Can you structure a trust for your dependent child or adult so it avoids the asset or wealth inheritance?
So what other planning should we consider? Because any parents or caregivers I have spoken with, just mention yes I have done a will and I have done a financial plan with my Advisor. Isn’t that good enough? Here are a few ideas:
- Who would want to be with the dependent son or daughter 100% of the time?
- Who would be there for outings, or activities. Fun adventures and a weekend Get-away, or travel?
- Who would you want as their contact to call, to have a visit with and just pick up the phone or face-time with?
- Who would you consider for their mentor, their big brother or sister?
- Who would you want for their financial manager or bookkeeper or manager? Someone you can trust and have the abilities for such a task.
- Who would you want as their person to go to with a problem, something that they need to heal from, a heartache situation or discuss for a solution?
- Who would you want to have that special date with for the day or half of a day?
Planning and getting a backup put together with your family is a bit more complex than other families may face with the whole financial and emotional planning in comparison to those families who have grown children that are independent and earning their own income. So, it takes a bit of planning with assets, caregivers, sickness, or finances to put together an appropriate plan. Because your son or daughter needs to have an income, a place to live, caregivers that they feel comfortable with and another plan for any sickness or impairments that change the normal plan. Some other discussions would be around any blended family situations, or single mom or single dad situation as well.
The difficulty around having a blended family or a separated new look family is the communication part. As you know in a healthy marriage you need great communication. Even after when things break down in the relationship, there needs to be some balance in communication for the family’s benefit. When there are so many decisions to make on a constant basis, there needs to be communication. When Covid 19 hit our community, that definitely put a whole other spin on the daily living arrangements and activities for all those that are with some sort of care giving setting. All young and old that had caregivers, there life shifted 180 degrees. And in some cases 360 degrees because of the special programs or classes that they were attending. Some families don’t want to leave the house, or can’t afford to take the risk with any of their health.
A few of the What if questions that will impact your decisions in all of these steps are important to consider. What do you want to happen if:
- The Mom or Dad gets sick or disabled?
- The Mom or Dad pass away?
- One parent or both?
- Any other caregivers become unavailable or incapable?
- Is your son/daughter high functioning or low functioning?
- What is the outlook for your son or daughter’s career, volunteering, apprenticeship, or group now or in the future?
- What kinds of things are absolute must-have’s to consider in your plan?
- Your planning would change a little bit if you feel in the future that a relationship for your son/daughter would be possible.
Remember to include living arrangements, the financial keeper, transportation and work ability and activities to stay active mind, body and soul.
What does a Backup mean to you and your situation? We have only just touched the surface. I wanted to instead of confusing you with a whole list of things to think about and do, I’d rather insure that we discuss 3 topics and get some answers around those first. Get a feel for what we should be considering before we jump into some of these financial decisions that you will be needing to make decisions about. In this Backup plan, which is “Your Backup Plan” I would like to impress upon you a few topics to get your head wrapped around, make a few decisions around and put them into action.
Building Your Backup Plan
- Putting together a financial plan with an Advisor of your choice
A plan looking at the current situation, in 5 years and again in the future. A plan outlining a current picture of your investments. A 10 year projection and a retirement outlook as well. That way depending on what you will want the picture to look like at those markers, you can use annual contributions to your plans to ensure their success. This way when you have your plan, you can continue with the next steps with the appropriate future outlook to make those real personal decisions. I have to get you prepared for what’s next!
- Legal Guardianship
Reviewing a Guardianship application for your dependent son or daughter. Remembering to always consider any contingent options, these would be any family members or close friends.
- Deciding on a Guardian or Guardians in your Plan
Deciding on various individuals and caregivers both friends, family, partners or company affiliations for each of the daily tasks. A very important part of the puzzle as well. This may look like what person would you want beside your son or daughter in any or all cases. It could look like 3 people that would do the trick for all or some of your ideas. It might look like 10 people in some cases, because as I described above the task needs to be looked at in such a way that you look at each of the tasks separately and by pairing up the appropriate person that best suit your son/daughter. That way, when something was to occur, the group of people that you chose, would then work as a team to coordinate all the tasks for that perfect outcome.
- Getting a Will completed with a Lawyer
There needs to be a current Will for both parents. Discuss having a Trust constructed for your family. That’s what Michael Jackson completed with his mansion, and estate. The only problem is that he didn’t complete the Trust, with not filling the trusts with what he wanted in each one. So, Michael Jackson’s family have had quite the journey fighting among each other on division of all the assets among the family and his children’s inheritances. Do not try to skimp on this part of the plan! It is a very big component of your plan working when it needs to. You will be considering me as your coach which will allow all of the parts of this plan – each of the puzzle pieces- to fit together and be there successfully when you need it most! There are a lot of resources for making your own Will, but the percentage of the successful completion of Wills is drastically low. There are so many things that can go wrong because remember in your situation, having a diverse family, it’s complicated, it’s important and so much at risk.
Knowing that we have basically only touched on this topic, I’m sure you will love to hear our interview with Loree, an encouraging single mother of a beautiful daughter, Sydney, an exciting dependent woman who has Down Syndrome. We will uncover some difficulties and solutions to her ever changing situation especially during Covid 19. That has also added a spin on things!
So stay tuned to our Podcast this week! It will definitely inspire and motivate you to start thinking about your own unique plan.
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