With Kelly Piacenti, MA, CHSNC®

As a caregiver, it is completely understandable to feel overwhelmed when developing a future financial plan for your loved one living with Fragile X. The first thing to know is that making a plan takes time and it’s okay to feel unsure sometimes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to ask for help or take breaks when you need them. Making a plan is a proactive and loving step towards securing the best possible life for your loved one with Fragile X, both now and in the years to come.

Kelly provided an introduction and overview of what steps may be included when creating a financial plan. Each individual and family circumstance is unique and caregivers should consider their own situation when creating their plans. Breaking the process down and taking one step at a time can help with navigating the process with greater ease and confidence.

NFXF Webinar Series: 10 Basic Financial Steps for Special Needs Caregivers

Additional resources and controls for this video are accessible just below the video: play/pause, volume, subtitles, view transcript, watch as picture-in-picture, or in full screen mode.

10 Basic Financial Steps for Special Needs Caregivers

The webinar was a presentation followed by a Q&A session. Kelly provided an overview of the various steps families and caregivers may consider and include in their financial plans. The worksheet linked below is a resource to assist with taking notes on each of the steps.

Kelly provided an overview of the various components that might be included in a financial plan for individuals with special needs. She emphasized the importance of assembling a team to help develop a tailored financial plan suited to the needs of your loved one, and involving professionals with expertise in special needs planning.

When seeking a financial planner, Kelly recommended considering those with specialized credentials such as a Special Care Planner or Chartered Special Needs Consultant ® (CHSNC®) designation. She suggested that families consult with Special Needs Attorneys or CPAs who specialize in special needs planning and management to ensure comprehensive and informed decision-making.

Kelly’s top recommendation is to prioritize completing a Letter of Intent. While not legally binding, a Letter of Intent serves as a roadmap for your loved one’s future, providing invaluable guidance for future caregivers and members of their support network. By outlining preferences, aspirations, and important considerations, the Letter of Intent ensures that your loved one’s needs and desires are understood and respected, even in your absence. She provided an example for caregivers to follow with the following link:

Having a comprehensive financial plan in place can provide peace of mind for a caregiver and their family, knowing that your loved one will be taken care of even when you’re not able to be directly involved.

Learn More About the Presenter

Kelly Piacenti, MA, CHSNC® – specialcare@massmutual.com

Kelly Piacenti is responsible for the MassMutual SpecialCare program which includes nearly five hundred Special Care Planners*. She also oversees partnerships between MassMutual and the largest special needs non-profit organizations across the country; including The Arc, Autism Society, Huntington’s Disease Society of America, National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP).

She has worked with MassMutual since July 2016. Before joining MassMutual, she led the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning, where she was employed from 1991 through 2016. Kelly holds her Master’s degree and resides in Chester, New Jersey with her husband and children. She was the mother of a child with special needs for 19 years and possesses the knowledge, insight, and empathy to act as a mentor and resource for families facing similar challenges.

*The Special Care Planner title is used by financial professionals with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) who have received advanced training and information in estate and tax planning concepts, special needs trusts, government programs, and the emotional dynamics of working with people with disabilities and other special needs.

The information provided is not written or intended as specific tax or legal advice. MassMutual and its representatives are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel.


You can help make a difference!

Our educational resources, such as this webinar, are provided free of charge because the ability to pay should never stand in the way of giving help and hope to families living with Fragile X.

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Thank you for your support!

Missy Zolecki, Director, Community Empowerment

Missy Zolecki
Missy joined NFXF team in 2018 after being an active volunteer since 2010. Missy organized several fundraisers and educational workshops while serving in her volunteer role. Missy is the mother of three children. Her eldest son, Matt, lives with Fragile X syndrome. Prior to joining the NFXF team, Missy had worked as a nurse for more than 20 years. She enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.