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Special Needs Planning with Ken Piercey, JD

Updated: May 25, 2022

RL117 - Special Needs Planning with Ken Piercey, JD

Today on the Retirement Lifestyle Show, Roshan Loungani, Erik Olson, and Adrian Nicholson talk to Kenneth Piercey, a Trust attorney specializing in proper estate planning, estate tax elimination, asset protection, special needs planning, probate, and Medicaid. They talk about special needs planning, the benefits of setting up a third-party special needs trust, and how to avoid the scary possibility of guardianship.

[01:24] Getting to Know Kenneth Piercy

[04:33] Understanding Special Needs Planning

[07:23] The Relative Risk of Divorce For Parents of Children With Special Needs

[08:42] How Special Needs Planning Has Evolved Over the Past Decade

[13:40] The Benefits of Working With a Special Needs Expert

[18:00] The First Step When Setting Up a Special Needs Plan

[20:27] How Often Should You Review a Special Needs Plan?

[21:48] The Ever-Evolving Duty of a Trust Protector

[24:37] The Biggest Mistake People Make with Special Needs Planning

[27:00] Why You Need an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

[31:43] First-Party Versus Third-Party Special Needs Trusts

[35:00] The Benefits of Setting Up a Third-Party Special Needs Trust

[37:53] The Best Times to Get an Asset Manager

[43:20] Ken's Advice to People Yet to Set Up a Special Needs Trust

[45:40] Elder Law and Estate Planning

[50:26] Avoiding the Scary Possibility of Guardianship

[52:40] Parting Thoughts

For more links and the full show notes keep scrolling down!

Roshan Loungani can be reached at or at 202-536-4468.

Erik Olson can be reached at or 815-940-4652.

Adrian Nicholson can be reached at or at 703-915-8905.

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Full Show Notes:

Top Tips For Special Needs Planning

There's a good chance someone you deeply care about, a child, a sibling, a close relative, and even a parent, has special needs. And while all families need to plan for the future, the need to plan now is exponentially more important for families who have a child with special needs. Regrettably, parents who have a child with special needs might find planning for their loved one's life after they themselves are gone a bit overwhelming. They have to constantly think about what an impactful life would look like for the child today and in the future.

This is why it's essential that you work with specialists in this type of planning. Why? Because a special needs plan is not just a financial plan. You can't just throw a bunch of strategies together and call it a day. First, you need an expert who can break the process down into manageable parts, reduce the potential tax drawbacks, and get the most out of all the benefits the child might be entitled to. Ken further explains that finding attorneys experienced in special needs planning is one of the best things you can ever do for your loved one. All you have to do is let them know what you'd like to see happen, and the attorney will come up with the right trust for your situation.

First-Party Versus Third-Party Special Needs Trust

Special needs trusts make it easier for families to ensure the financial security of their relatives living with a disability. They are often beneficial for those who cannot earn an income or live independently. The two main types of special needs trusts are first-party and third-party special needs trusts. The first-party trust is for individuals whose disability is caused by injury. The trust is funded by the disabled individual's own money and is used for their own benefit and use. The trust beneficiary can use the funds in the trust for various services of their choosing, including medical needs, nursing care, dietary needs, and therapies.

On the other hand, third-party special needs trusts provide financial stability for individuals living with special needs who, typically, cannot earn an income or live on their own. Unlike the first-party trust, the third-party trust is funded by a third party for the benefit of the disabled individual. Oftentimes, a third-party special needs trust is established by a parent as part of a donor's estate plan to fund the special needs individual's care while the donor is still alive and after they pass away.

Links and Resources:

Ken's Phone number: 224.848.4645

All opinions expressed by podcast hosts and guests are solely their own. While based on information that they believe is reliable, neither Arete Wealth nor its affiliates warrant its completeness or accuracy, nor do their opinions reflect the opinion of Arete Wealth. This podcast is for general informational purposes only, and should not be regarded as specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Before making any decisions, consult a professional.

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