M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC: Who We Are, What We Do, and How We Can Help You

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Here at M&L Special Needs Planning, we are often asked the question, “what exactly does your company do?” The answer to that question is simple enough – everything!

Actually, to be precise, M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC is a special needs planning company that focuses on providing the tools and information to help families with special needs plan healthy, happy and financially stable futures. We offer a number of different services that can be tailored to suit the unique situation and circumstances of our clients, including our Comprehensive Special Needs Financial Life Plan, government benefits counseling, insurance needs analysis planning, consulting, and speaking engagements.

Our Comprehensive Special Needs Financial Life Plan is designed to help your family with special needs identify and prioritize financial life goals for two generations: we plan for both the typical family needs and for the entire life of the individual with a disability. Not only is this life plan about finances, i.e. knowing what you have and filling in the financial gaps that may exist, but we also go into great detail and build an understanding of your family’s personal story to create your own specific action steps. We find it imperative to take care of the caretaker as well as to provide for your family member with special needs. We ensure personal and public resources are maximized and protected. As a part of this plan, we review family resources, cash flow, legal documents, investments and insurance, retirement goals, tax and estate issues, and other legal matters. There is a strong focus on investments and cash flow, tax and risk management/insurance strategies. From this information, we develop recommendations and steps you can take to ensure that you and your family can meet the entire family’s financial life goals. There is a strong concentration to financially support your family member with disabilities now and after the parents are gone. This plan is reviewed and updated annually to incorporate any changes with family dynamics, state/federal benefits, and to identify any additional resources necessary to continue to uphold the quality of life necessary for an individual with special needs. This plan also includes the M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC Letter of Intent C.D.

Our Government Benefits Counseling service helps you and your family to understand the government benefits that are available, and how they can relate to specific individuals with disabilities. For many people, the process of applying for these benefits can be overwhelming, stressful, and confusing. At M&L Special Needs Planning, our staff are experts in the area of government benefit counseling and we can work with your family to ensure that your application is not denied due to lack of information or documentation. We have an excellent track record of helping families apply for benefits, and many become eligible the first time around.

Insurance Needs Analysis Planning is primarily intended to help families with special needs focus on the insurance needs of the family, with the end result of funding the Special Needs Trust for the family member with special needs. As a part of the process, the expenses and resources of the family are examined, along with the existing insurance coverage. It is determined what level of insurance is required to maintain the quality of life for the family and family member with special needs – if family’s existing insurance coverage isn’t deemed adequate based on our analysis, M&L Special Needs Planning will source and make recommendations based on insurance coverage available in the marketplace.

Our consulting services are intended for those families that might not want to complete the Comprehensive Special Needs Financial Life Plan, but would like to engage M&L Special Needs Planning for our expertise and guidance in some of the basics of special needs planning. We can review existing documents, make recommendations for necessary legal and directives documents, guardianship and/or less restrictive alternatives, and beneficiary designations, among other things.

Speaking engagements – M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC offers a Workshop Series, which we present free of charge at various locations throughout the year. These workshops cover topics such as transitioning, special needs financial planning, government benefits (SSI, SSDI), estate planning, and residential options. We are always looking for new venues in which to present these workshops, so if you are interested in having us present at a location of your choice, please contact us. We are willing to travel!

In addition to these services, we also work with other financial services professionals; we share technical advice that educates professionals on the basics of special needs planning, and what should and should not be done. We feel that all financial professionals have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients to understand the ramifications of special needs, and we are willing to work to make sure that that happens.

Why You Need a Special Needs Financial Planner

Parents of children who are diagnosed with special needs are often overwhelmed emotionally, mentally, and financially. Every parent wants the best for their child, however, figuring out what “the best” is, and how to achieve it, can be challenging. This is where we can help.

Special needs financial planners can offer objective rationality to a situation that is always emotional, and sometimes painful. Here at M&L Special Needs Planning, we have personal experience with raising a child with special needs, so we understand the unique challenges that families with special needs face – we are able to examine the financial information objectively, take into account your goals and resources, and create a financial plan that also accounts for the twists and turns that may arise on your family’s special needs journey.

In addition to this, we have the experience and the resources to be able to help you plan for the future for your child with special needs – every day, we work with families who are navigating government benefits and programs, investigating residential options, and completing other steps that will secure the future of their family with special needs. If you are having issues with any process of special needs planning, chances are we have dealt with it in the past and can help you overcome the problem – our years of experience ensure that we have a wealth of resources to call upon, and we are more than happy to put those resources to good use by helping your family.

Hopefully we have provided you with a clear picture of how special needs financial planners can help your family successfully plan and prepare for a secure and an amazing future. Here at M&L Special Needs Planning, we are more than happy to share our knowledge, resources and experience with you, and guide you along the path of special needs planning. For more information about the services we provide, please visit our Services page on our website, or feel free to send an email, or give us a call.

Thank you so much for stopping by today! Stay tuned to next week’s post – we will be featuring our interview with Jane Doyle, PhD, co-founder of the Center for Independent Futures. See you then!

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