Guest Post

Special Needs Trust – A Special Birthday Party Invitation Insert/Poem

This idea comes from two dear friends of OWTK. They are proud parents of a beautiful, strong, and amazing little girl who will celebrate her first birthday in one week. All birthdays are special, but her first one is – some would say – a miracle. She was born with Down Syndrome and several other nasty complications that filled her early days, weeks, and months with more hardships and worries than any parent and child should have to endure.

Thanks to a tremendous amount of love, wonderful doctor’s and nurses, the miracle of modern medicine, a fair amount of prayer, and one little girl’s fighters spirit – their little bundle of joy is healthy, prosperous, and ready to turn one!

Some may not know it, including us here at OWTK (before receiving the party invitation), but there are delicate financial matters one must consider for kids with special needs. Turns out some Social Security benefits and other government assistance can vanish (and/or be retroactively stripped away – forcing a payback of financial aid previously received!) should a special needs child accumulate “too much” money (more than a measly $2000) in their own name upon turning 18 years of age. It is for this reason that parents and guardians of such children may establish a Special Needs Trust (the money in the Trust is not the child’s – he or she would just the beneficiary. The child cannot demand or request money from the Trust. The Trust would have a named custodian who is in charge of dispensing the assets as needed).

A Special Needs Trust is what our friends set up for their child and with that comes the need to educate others about the absolute necessity of keeping funds flowing around the child, not to the child. The following poem was crafted by the father to politely inform and ask attendees of their girl’s 1st birthday extravaganza to forgo the customary checks and savings bonds made out to the birthday girl in favor of items (diapers, etc) or checks payable to the parents.

This poem was printed separately and inserted into the envelope with the party invitation. Feel free to use it for your own needs.

Please help us celebrate a very joyous day
(name of child) turns ONE, so it’s time to shout hooray!
You are being invited as a very special guest,
And this poem is designed to make one request,
(name of child) is special, as everyone knows
And we can’t wait to watch as he/she changes and grows.
But one thing we have to make sure stays the same,
That not too much money exists in her name!
So please don’t send bonds or checks made to her,
She’d love diapers or formula, or small things with fur!
But if sending a check is what you would like,
Just don’t make it out to our cute little tyke.
Writing it out to Mom or Dad is a must,
And we’ll put it into her Special Needs Trust.
So join us this day and it’s (name of child) you’ll greet,
Just come really hungry – there’ll be so much to eat!

Should you wish to say thank you for this poem, feel free to comment on this post (they are avid OWTK readers and will see it).

To get involved, please visit Buddy Walk and find a walk to participate in. You could also donate to the National Down Syndrome Society.

Additional resources:

FAQ on Supplemental/Special Needs Trusts

Special Needs Answers

Special Needs Alliance


*Please consult a tax/financial advisor about your family’s particular monetary situation before opening any trust, savings, or other type of account for your children.

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