Case Study – Child Disability

“Natalie” was injured as a young girl in 2015. The injuries were not only physical, but emotional and developmental in nature. Natalie’s intention is to finish school and ultimately work with children, as a preschool teacher. She aspires to travel with friends and ultimately move out on her own, independent of her parents within the next few years.

Due to the length of her legal case, her financial settlement did not occur until she was 18 years old, so Natalie had the option of taking the funds outright, placing the funds in a structured settlement, or placing them in a self-settled Special Needs Trust.

The following is a representation of the projects that we have conducted on behalf of Natalie and her family:

  1. We reviewed her cash flow needs and possible structured settlement payout options that had been presented to her. After our review we found that a blend of a structured settlement for cash flow and a lump sum settlement for flexibility and long-term growth of assets was the best strategy for her needs.
  2. We did a thorough review of Natalie’s life-care plan drafted by an attorney. Based on the extent of her injuries, the need for long-term rehabilitation and care, and the family’s desire to utilize public benefits, it was decided that the best course of action was to put the lump sum portion of her settlement into a Special Needs Trust.
  3. Since the family and attorney also wanted to protect the funds from extended family members, it was confirmed that it was prudent to put the settlement funds in a Special Needs Trust with a strong trustee in place.
  4. Coldstream assisted the personal injury attorney in engaging an attorney to draft the Special Needs Trust for the benefit of Natalie.
    Both the family and the attorney wanted a locally-based, high-touch trustee. We introduced a strong local trustee who gladly accepted the role of conserving the assets for Natalie and assisting the family as they navigated this new phase of their life.
  5. An initial goal for the family was to find a new housing situation. We collaborated with the trustee in their review of this major purchase for the family. We looked at property location, proximity to health care providers, attributes of the home and neighborhood, financing, and analysis of the ultimate benefactor of the home purchase.
  6. Once settled in their new home, the family needed to bring in care givers to assist Natalie. We helped the family set up a formal payroll structure and liability protection around employing individuals in their home.

The Coldstream team members responsible for implementing Disability Advisory Services’ activities have significant experience and background within the disabled community. We have established key strategic relationships with other service providers to facilitate any projects or initiatives required by our client. We are extremely proud to blend our customized comprehensive wealth management services with our knowledge and appreciation for the needs of the disabled community.