016: Behind the Scenes of Financial Planning for a Family With Special Needs

In episode 16 of Absolute Trust Talk, Kirsten welcomes Morgan Stanley Senior Portfolio Manager Robert McLalan to the show. Bob has over 35 years of experience in the securities industry and has committed a large part of his practice to helping special needs families. His passion for special needs comes from his own personal experiences as a conservator for his sister, Toni, who was born with Down syndrome.

Throughout the show, Bob shares numerous stories about the types of decisions he had to make in regard to his sister’s care and how he had to take charge, interpret her needs, listen to the specialists and get outside opinions to make the best decisions for her. Later, Bob weighs in on how critical financial planning is for a family and some of the challenges that might arise when managing investments for families with a special needs person.

Big Three From Episode #016:

  1. Be cautious
  2. Be adversarial, when necessary
  3. Be present

Time-stamped Show Notes:

2:00 – Robert shares the importance of his background and how it shaped the focus of his practice

15:14 – Robert discusses with Kirsten his key advice – the three B’s

16:30 – Kirsten and Robert highlight why the sibling may not be the best person to take care of a special needs sibling

17:07 – Robert shares how vital an attorney is in making decisions for a special needs child and the family

18:37 – Here’s how to incorporate a sibling into another special needs sibling’s future and life

19:40 – Robert talks about the team who is involved in “protecting” the special needs person

21:10 – Robert shares, from his experience, what types of tough decisions you have to make for a special needs person when you’re in charge

31:09 – Kirsten and Robert discuss how critical financial planning is to a family with special needs

33:10 – Robert shares the steps he takes to get a special needs family financially set up

39:43 – Robert discusses challenges that come up when managing investments for special needs families

Episode #016 Freebie: Tool – Planning for Children With Special Needs

Planning for a special needs child is a big job, and those faced with the task often face lots of challenges. For families struggling with such issues, a special needs trust could be the right answer. Absolute Trust Talk guest Robert McLalan is sharing with listeners a thorough resource tool called Planning for Children With Special Needs. This document offers the essential steps, processes, and options when it comes to preparing and executing a special needs trust. To find out if a special needs trust is right for your family,  click here to access Planning for Children With Special Needs.

Resources/Tools/Links Mentioned In This Episode:


Article – Special Needs: Who Do You Trust?

Check out this episode!