Webster Bank Investments: Special Needs Planning

CT Style

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Today we welcome Attorney Rebecca Iannantouni, Partner in the Day Pitney law firm specializing in planning for persons with special needs, and David Nastri, Senior Vice President, Wealth Consultant with Webster Bank Investments.

Special Needs planning is so difficult for families; With physical and emotional care, they have to consider who will assume the caregiver role after the parent’s death; how will that successor caregiver know the child’s likes, dislikes, wants and hopes, and how they will communicate all of that to the successor. A Letter of Intent is a good way to document all of those details.

Financial concerns include whether government care programs will be available and sufficient to assist with the care of the child. They try to plan for changes that may impact those programs with an estate plan that may provide additional funding for those care needs.

The estate plan would include naming a trustee, funding the trust, and planning for distributions that would help the child and not jeopardize other benefit programs.

Special Needs planning is a subset of traditional estate planning, so they recommend engaging an attorney who specializes in special needs planning.

Keep in mind that this process is not limited to families with substantial wealth. This planning is important regardless of the size of the estate.

Very often Nastri has clients who have come to the realization that they won’t be able to care for their children forever and they will come to me to start figuring out a plan. “As an attorney I can give them an overview of what options they have, and then I will refer them to someone like Rebecca to build a plan.” – David Nastri

Nastri, also helps them with the issue of fairness; or how to treat all of their children fairly in the estate, but still allow enough extra funding for the special needs child. “I can balance the investments in the trust and the estate to make sure that all of the heirs are treated equally.” – David Nastri

Rebecca shares one thing no one thinks of is usually divorce. Ending a marriage when there is a special needs child raises all of the issues we’ve discussed, plus custody and decision making challenges. No one is equipped to deal with those concerns without help.

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