How Do I Plan Financially with a Family Member with Special Needs? – Annapolis and Towson Estate Planning

If you fail to provide any funds or support for a family member with special needs, their future may be left to a judge, and their well-being could suffer. If you leave too much, they could be ineligible for government services or be forced to pay back the state for some of their care.

SF Gate’s recent article, “Financial planning when a family member has special needs,” says the biggest mistake you can make, is making no plan. That frequently happens when a caregiver becomes so overwhelmed, that it prevents them from planning at all. However, it doesn’t have to be a major undertaking in every case. A young family may just need life insurance and an estate plan, and your needs can change over time. You also shouldn’t overlook estate planning, because it’s important to put basic safeguards in place, if someone relies on you for care.

The article says that if you do only one thing, write a letter of intent. This letter details a family’s hope for an individual and their estate. It tells of your vision for the child or family member’s life, who will be involved and how. This letter of intent can also include crucial information about medical, financial, or other essentials, like your loved one’s daily routine, likes and dislikes.

You should update this letter of intent annually.

You know that all the money in the world can’t provide the information parents may have in their hearts and minds for their children. Best of all, it’s free.

It can be very complicated to understand what’s needed for each family’s unique circumstances. You should get help in whatever way you can. One avenue is to ask other families with special needs for their input or consider any free training through advocacy groups or support groups.

This is a situation where a paid professional, such as an elder law attorney or a lawyer who specializes in disability law can be critical.

An attorney can educate you about the finer points of the various financial tools available, like special needs trusts, ABLE accounts and more. Commonly used financial tools, such as life insurance and Roth IRAs, take on new weight for families in this situation. An experienced attorney will have special knowledge on the implications the various tools will have on taxes, government benefits and more.

Finally, don’t forget to look after your own financial well-being. If you forgo taking care of yourself, it may mean you can’t provide the care for your family.

Reference: SF Gate (May 5, 2019) “Financial planning when a family member has special needs”

Sims & Campbell, LLC – Annapolis and Towson Estate Planning Attorneys

Suggested Key Terms: Asset Protection, Probate Court, Inheritance, Elder Law Attorney, Special Needs Planning, ABLE Account, Social Security Disability Insurance

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jane Frankel Sims


Contact: Frank Campbell


Sims & Campbell Estates and Trusts

Frankel Sims Law and Holden & Campbell
Merge to Form Sims & Campbell

Firm will offer comprehensive Trusts & Estates services through offices in Towson and Annapolis

TOWSON, Md. (April 26,2019)  Frankel Sims Law and Holden & Campbell have jointly announced the merger of their firms to create a boutique Trusts & Estates law firm providing comprehensive services in the fields of Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Trust Administration and Charitable Giving. The combined firm will be named Sims & Campbell and have offices in Towson, Md. and Annapolis, Md.  Jane Frankel Sims and Frank Campbell will lead and hold equal ownership stakes in the firm.

Sims & Campbell will have 9 attorneys and 15 legal professionals that handle every facet of estate and wealth transfer planning, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, estate and gift tax advice, and charitable giving strategies.  The firm will focus solely on Trusts & Estates but will serve a wide range of clients, from young families with modest resources to ultra-high net worth individuals.  This allows clients to remain with the firm as their level of wealth and the complexity of related estate and tax implications change over time. 

“By joining forces, we have expanded our footprint to conveniently serve clients in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia” said Jane Frankel Sims.  We are seeing some of the greatest wealth transfer in our country’s history, and we want to continue to be on the leading edge of helping our clients maintain and enhance their family’s wealth.  In addition, we aim to serve our clients for years to come, and the new firm structure will allow Sims & Campbell to thrive even after Frank and I have retired.”    

“Jane and I have always admired each other’s firms and recognized the need to provide even greater depth and breadth of focused expertise to help families amass and protect their wealth from generation to generation,” said Frank Campbell.  “Now we have even greater capabilities to make a real difference for our clients.” 

The Sims & Campbell Towson office is located at 500 York Road, on the corner of York Road and Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of Towson.  The Annapolis office is currently located at 716 Melvin Avenue, and is moving to 181 Truman Parkway in August, 2019.  For more information, visit