You Are Not Alone

We all know that being a parent means overseeing and planning for our children's health, welfare, safety and happiness, both now and into the future. But being a parent of a child with special needs means all that and so much more.  It means understanding and providing for their specialized medical, educational, legal, and financial needs now, and as those needs continue to change in the future.

If the thought of planning for a child's future care and quality of life leaves you feeling completely overwhelmed, take heart. You are not alone.  Many families have experienced these same feelings until they learned about the personalized assistance and solutions available through MetDESK®, MetLife's Division of Estate Planning for Special Kids.

"Financial expertise is very important, of course, and we have that in abundance, but we believe that dedication to the mission of helping children and families successfully meet special-needs challenges is what really distinguishes MetDESK®, says Brian Finn, Assistant Vice President. "People can become members of the special needs community at any time, and they are understandably unprepared for that in many cases. They will do best if they have someone in their corner who can provide perspective and understanding," Finn adds.  

Personalized Solutions from Trusted Specialists
MetDESK® was created by parents of children with special needs for parents of children with special needs in 1998. The organization helps families plan for the future security of their children or other dependents with special needs, MetDESK® focuses exclusively on assisting families through the complex maze of legal and financial planning while providing solutions which can foster lifetime quality care and quality of life for a child.  MetDESK® Specialists, many of whom are parents of children with special needs themselves, are trained to guide parents through the planning process and to recommend steps and solutions that best meet a family's unique circumstances.


For families working with a MetDESK® Specialist, planning for children with special needs begins with a review of:
           1. Dependent's needs
           2. Future care plans
           3. Current financial & legal plans

Critical areas to be addressed include:

           1. Preserving government benefit eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid

           2. Exploring the types of special needs trusts and determining which is right for the family and the child

           3. Determining appropriate funding vehicles for a special needs trust-including life insurance, to help

               guarantee future quality of life.
           4. Guardianship, conservatorship and client self-determination issues

While parents will always be the primary experts in planning for a child's future, they may need to turn to a number of other experts for assistance in special needs estate planning. MetDESK® Specialist can guide families to experts for issues ranging from medical insurance authorizations for specialized services and products, to knowledge of special education laws and guardianship issues.  

MetDESK® On-line

MetDESK®'s web site ( has a wealth of information and resources that parents can easily explore on their own, including a Special Needs Calculator to help increase understanding of the financial needs dependents may have over a lifetime.

Below is a Planning Quiz designed by MetDESK to help plan effectively for children with special needs:

  • Do you or your spouse/partner have a vision of how your child with a disability will live after you're gone?
  • Have you identified a guardian, conservator, or trustee for your child?
  • Do you have a complete understanding of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) government benefits?
  • Have you begun setting aside money for your child with special needs?
  • Do you have a written Letter of Intent?
  • Are any children, whether they have a disability or not, being excluded in your will?
  • Do you have a special needs or supplementary needs trust established to preserve government benefits?
  • Have provisions been made to fund these trusts with assets or insurance?
  • Have you coordinated your special needs planning with other relatives?
  • Have you done everything possible to protect your child's financial future?
  • Have you planned where your child with special needs will live if you are not around?
  • Will your child be able to earn enough to care for himself or herself? 
  • Will your child have adequate health insurance?

Interested parents and others can call 1-877-MetDESK or visit to learn more about special needs estate planning or make arrangements to speak with a Specialist for free assistance.