Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Planning for children with special needs


All parents with children with significant mental disabilities
(or PSNs – Persons With Special Needs) are burdened by two things:
  1. The huge financial resources to support their children on a long-term basis. Assuming the PSN require $5000 per month in living expenses, medical, special school, special education and cost of care giver – the total amount required for a 1 year old child is 5000 x 12 x 82 = $4.92 million assuming an average mortality of 82 years old and not taking into account of inflation. As it can be seen, the financial burden is astronomical.
  2. The second problem face by parents is not able to take care of PSNs when parents themselves become disabled and deceased.
These two unique problems are issues that ordinary financial planners are unable to solve because it defies the common assumptions that children do not require their parents’ financial support when they grow up. Unfortunately, children who are PSNs never ‘grow up’ as they cannot support themselves financially and emotionally.

Under Advanced Estate Planning, we offer financial planning for parents whose children suffer from severe form of mental disabilities. This is a unique financial planning service which we believe is the first and only in Singapore. The following is what we will do for parents who engage us to help them:
  1. Review the family’s insurance policies to ensure that they are not paying more than they should. This is important because every cent counts for a family with such high financial responsibility; 
  2.  Help to get PSNs insured for illnesses unrelated to their existing condition. Most insurers would refuse to insure PSNs but there are some who are willing to insure medical conditions that are unrelated to their existing conditions.
  3. Calculate with high precision the amount of estate required to support the family.
  4. Arrange for high term insurance to create the necessary estate to support PSNs financially. Term insurance is the only way to create such high estate at a low cost although it is not available from the usual insurance advisers due to the low or lack of commissions.
  5. Plan and optimize the estate transfer flows so as to ensure existing family members without special needs are also taken care of.
  6. Arrange to have the parents’ Wills with testamentary trusts done, setting up of an *inter vivo trust, insurance nominations and CPF Nominations keeping in mind the trade off between subjecting assets to Probate and bypassing Probate.
  7. Optionally, assist parents to get their Lasting Power of Attorney done and to appoint Deputy and successor Deputy for their children.
*Due to the required specialization for PSNs, we will work with Special Needs Trust Company (SNTC) to setup an inter vivo trust. SNTC is the only non-profit trust company in Singapore set up to provide trust services for the benefit of persons with special needs. SNTC is jointly supported by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and National Council of Social Service (NCSS).
There is no need to be an Accredited Investor or high networth individuals to obtain such a service.

Attached is an except from my colleague, Mr. Wilfred Ling, regarding special needs planning for children with severe mental disabilities. The full article can be found here.
Upcoming Events:

There will be a webinar on 10am, Saturday, 10th September 2011 conducted by Mr. Wilfred Ling, Professional Tax and Estate planner, CFA, CHFC.  Would strongly encourage all my clients to sign up for this webminar. Although it is a topic specifically for parents who have disabled children, you may also want to watch it for curiosity sake.

Some of the issues discussed will be:
  • How many PSNs are there in Singapore?
  • What are the government support available for PSNs?
  • What are the concerns and constraints faced by parents whose children are PSNs?
  • Why almost all parents could be wasting their money buying insurance for themselves?

Please sign up for the event by clicking the following link:


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