Planners with clients who have special needs family members may sometimes feel overwhelmed by the complexities of providing for their future. Or they may make errors in provisions designed to protect a special needs client that can cost the family—and the planner, too—down the road.
What’s the answer? Perhaps a webinar or a partnership with Protected Tomorrows, the financial practice of Mary Anne Ehlert, who specializes in providing more than financial security to clients with special needs kin—those with autism, Down syndrome, or other disabilities, whether physical or developmental.
Ehlert, who has been working with special needs families in her practice for more than 25 years, says that such clients need help beyond the merely financial, which is complex enough when considering all the specialized regulations that govern eligibility for a variety of benefit programs. That can be more than many advisors want to take on.
She has also seen, she says, an increasing number of mistakes made by planners who don’t understand the multitude of regulations that govern the finances of the special needs individual. This can be expensive, both for the family and for the planner, too, as a liability issue if the family challenges the arrangements once the error is discovered. Since the special needs community is expanding rapidly—currently it makes up approximately 20% of the population—that means more and more people need specialized help in providing for their futures.