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July 16, 2007

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Daunna Minnich

FSAIDs strike me as a pretty good idea—much better than a regular trust or savings account—but not a substitute for a special needs trust. There seems to be a lot of overlap, but the FSAID is aimed more at basic needs. A special needs trust can add "comfort" to a life, such as allowing for expenses for a cellphone or computer; hobbies, recreation, and vacations; or in general, just maintaining the standard of living of the family the child grew up in.

FSAIDs are easy and cheap to establish, but anyone interested in an FSAID should probably also be considering a special needs trust: http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content4/estate.dis.all.3.3.html

The FSAID fact sheet says funds can be used for transportation, but what does that really mean? I'm pretty sure it covers everyday getting around town for work, school, shopping, medical care—but could it purchase of a specially equipped van? Could the beneficiary use the funds to travel to visit a family member 1000's of miles away, or just for everyday getting around town? It's important to envision your child's future life and plan how to maintain his lifestyle and comfort beyond your lifetime. An FSAID sounds good, but it's not a bargain if it doesn't accomplish your goals.

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