The Vista Points podcast Choose Your Path educates listeners about special needs trusts for beneficiaries to better plan for the future. Guest speakers are highlighted and questions are answered from families and friends of people living with disabilities. vistapoints.org, 888-422-4076.
EPISODE 1 – An Introduction to Special Needs Trusts – January 1, 2022
Meet Bart, the voice of Vista Points, as he introduces its new podcast named Choose Your Path. This introductory episode to special needs trusts explains who trustees and beneficiaries are, defines special needs trusts and presents the idea of planning a brighter financial future.
EPISODE 1 SCRIPT:
Hello, and welcome to today’s Vista Point podcast, Choose your Path, where the Vista Points’ staff are committed to improving the quality of life for those living with disabilities. Vista Points serves the community by providing education about special needs trusts, managing the accounts of clients, and partnering with a variety of nonprofit and corporate entities to better the lives of those living with disabilities and their families.
Now less about Vista Points, and more about you and me. I am Bart, the volunteer Public Relations Liaison for Vista Points. It is one way I give back to the community. I worked as a Corporate Trainer and Manufacturing Leader for over 30 years and have now retired. I live with Alzheimer’s and am a cancer survivor. I live in the beautiful state of Tennessee, have 3 adult children, 3 grandchildren and have a great girlfriend. My hobbies include music, pets, boats and traveling.
Many of you listening to my voice today either live with a disability or with a loved one living with a disability or know someone living with a disability. I acknowledge your personal situation; respect it, and understand it is a challenge. My role with Vista Points is to educate you about special needs trusts and lead you toward a more financially predictable future. Sometimes I’ll be doing all the talking, and other times I look forward to bringing you others who are experts in the field such as attorneys, doctors, nurses, financial planners, and others. There will be parents of children living with disabilities speaking to us. After all, they are walking in your shoes and have been in your shoes. This is a way they can help others.
So let’s begin this podcast series with a shared understanding of what’s what, who does what, when, where, and why. Whether your loved one who is living with a disability is 3 or 90, you must focus on “today” while keeping an eye on the future. One way to do this is by establishing a special needs trust. What is that, you say? It’s a legal agreement you can establish, which allows your loved one living with a disability to continue his or her lifestyle while receiving medical and governmental benefits now and in the future. This gives you, your loved one with a disability and your family peace of mind, a sense of stability and a better quality of life. And with this podcast and other services provided by Vista Points, you become part of our community of friends and families who understand how to overcome financial difficulties.
A special needs trust does not require a large sum of money upfront. You can start one for as little as $5,000, with Vista Points. I suggest you find an organization which not only holds your same values but will manage funds for you. The bottom-line reason is these professionals know what and how to manage the special needs trust funds so your loved one, living with a disability, can qualify or maintain his or her benefits and lifestyle. Laws change. And don’t we all have better ways of spending our time than keeping up with Trust Laws?
A special needs trust benefits your loved one living with a disability now, in the future, and even after you are gone.
The idea of it may sound a bit scary. After all, I’d be apprehensive about putting my own financial future into the hands of someone, – anyone, – else. Yet, if I become aware of an amazing, financial expert who could handle my finances, but I decide not to use him or her, wouldn’t that be irresponsible of me? So, know that I respect your rights and choices, and I’m here just to provide you with information. You decide what to do with it.
Assets, such as money, are placed in an irrevocable special needs trust. Again, it’s the professional’s responsibility, serving as trustee, to know the laws and to benefit the client. We’ll be talking about these rules and regulations in this podcast series so you don’t have to blindly go along. You’ll be informed, know what to expect, know what not to do, and know what questions to ask so you can walk confidently with your special needs trust manager.
Special needs trusts are for individuals, of any age, living with a disability – physical, mental, or intellectual. It’s this person’s trust and this person is referred to as the “beneficiary”. There are also trustees, managers, and a variety of professionals who are involved. You can include your attorney or Vista Points can help you find one. It’s a team effort. The team keeps each other on their game and provides insight when changes need to be made.
Well, that’s quite an introduction. It’s a big subject, and there’s a lot to know. But, we’ll take this one step at a time. For example, there are three types of special needs trusts. We will be looking at each of the three in this podcast. And if you decide to pursue this, your special needs trust trustee will tailor the type of trust to your specific situation. One size does not fit all.
In each episode we’ll discuss a different topic about special needs trusts and dig deeper into one of the topics. Hopefully it’ll be fairly easy listening. Plus, the good news is you can rewind the podcast and listen again, to something, if I said too much all at once. Know my goal is for you to leave with a little more peace of mind and understanding. You don’t need to make a decision now or ever. Just listen and learn. I’m here for you. Enjoy every day with your loved ones. And come back for more information when you’re ready.
Our new podcast episodes go live on the 1st and 15th of every month. In the meantime, you are invited to ask questions of the Vista Points staff online or by phone. You can send your questions on the Facebook page at Vista-Points-Inc or call the office at the toll free number 888-422-4076.
I’m happy to say this concludes our first episode of Choose Your Path, a Vista Points podcast. Subscribe now to stay up to date on the latest episodes which go live on the 1st and 15th of every month. Or, visit Vista Points online at vistapoints.org. You can find all our episodes there. Once again, you can call the Vista Points office at 888-422-4076. Enjoy your day. I look forward to talking with you again.