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Parenting Impossible – The Special Needs Survival Podcast


Dec 15, 2021

We are now at that time of the year when everyone should sit down and review their current special needs plan.  Time to make sure your planning is correct, in good shape and is planned out for what is best for your family.  This is one of Annette’s favorite podcasts to do and it has become an annual episode to help listeners create checklists to go over their own family’s plans. And what if you don’t already have a special needs plan? Well, this is the best time then to start getting things organized and begin thinking about the details you will need to start planning out the future.

Annette has 6 tips to help you review your current plan or begin creating a new one:

  1. Take inventory of your assets. What do your accounts look like?  Have you made any large purchases, bought any real estate?  What does your debt look like?  This may be a good time to consider looking into working with a financial advisor if you don’t already have one.
  2. Check out the people in your documents.  Are the people you have chosen to list in your future plans still around, do you need to make changes?  If you don’t already have a plan, start thinking about people you want to name as potential trustees or guardians.
  3. Have there been any changes to laws?  Are there any laws that may require you to adjust any parts of your plan or laws that may require you to rewrite something entirely?
  4. Have there been any major changes in your family?  Has anyone passed away, gotten married, divorced or had a child?  Your plan will also need to change and grow as your children change and grow.  
  5. Write down or update your wishes or your “Letter of Intent.”  What will someone need to know about your family, your special needs child if you were to pass away unexpectedly.  Personal details can be very helpful for those who will take over the care of your child, so they will be able to make decisions as if they were you.
  6. Talk to your family about your plan.  This can be an uncomfortable topic within families, but it is important that they understand some details such as where the assets are held, what your healthcare wishes are and is there is an opt in clause to name a few.

It’s important to have some sort of planning in place and to keep it as updated as you can.  Annette recommends checking in with your estate planning attorney every 3-5 years at least unless you have major changes that need updating immediately.  If you are just starting to plan, start small. Create checklists and begin by getting things organized and listed on paper.  Ask for referrals for financial planners and estate plan attorneys.  This is important for your family’s future and for you to know they will be taken care of when you are no longer around.

For information on other topics, please also check out Special Needs Companies. For legal advice, inspiration, and other resources, visit our blog here. Similarly, you can always listen to previous podcast episodes (and be sure to leave us a review), or download our free eBook here. We are always looking for podcast guests as well so please let us know if you or someone you know, has a special needs or disability topic you would like to speak about - Contact Us! 

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Please consider leaving a podcast review for Parenting Impossible – The Special Needs Survival Podcast on iTunes.  More positive ratings and reviews mean more new listeners are introduced to this informational and inspirational podcast.  Look at the bottom of this page for the purple oval that says “Enjoying the podcast?  Leave an iTunes review here.”  This will take you over to the iTunes site/app where you will be able to login and leave a review.  We really appreciate it!

You can also join our free Facebook group for the disability community, the “Circle of Care,” or watch the webinars and other speaking events on YouTube. The purpose of this community is to create a space for people to be themselves, ask questions and get support and answers, so please share these resources with your friends! 

Annette Hines has been practicing in the areas of Special Needs, Elder Law, and Estate Planning for more than 20 years. Ms. Hines brings personal experience with special needs to her practice and podcasts as the mother of two daughters, one of whom passed away from Mitochondrial disease in November 2013. This deep, personal understanding of special needs fuels her passion for quality special needs planning and drives her dedication to help others within the special needs community.