New Credential Equips Advisors To Serve Special Needs Families

Nov 18, 2013, 09:00 ET from The American College

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BRYN MAWR, Pa., Nov. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American College, the nation's only non-profit, accredited college devoted to financial services, has added the specialized Chartered Special Needs Consultant(ChSNC) designation to their curriculum.  The credential, which includes three college-level courses, gives financial advisors the tools they need to manage all of the emotional and financial complexities involved in planning for families who care for loved ones with special needs.

"The ChSNC™ program offers the practitioner a unique perspective into the emotional, legal, financial and tax implications of working with a family with a special needs child," explains Thomas M. Brinker, Jr., JD, LLM, ChFC®, one of the contributors to the program.  The first two courses in the curriculum deal with approaches to long-term disabilities and the legal and financial issues which special needs families face.  The third course is a web-based capstone course that uses case studies and extensive examples to help advisors become more effective planners in this important area.

ChSNC designees will be equipped with the specialized skills needed to help parents and caregivers plan for the future with honesty, ethics and compassion. Included in the curriculum is practical information on the unique considerations, tax deductions, healthcare issues, Medicaid complexities and the emotional aspects of planning a secure future for special needs families.

"There's a real need here that isn't being met by traditional financial planning programs," says Brinker.  "When advisors encounter these situations, they need­ to understand what families are feeling, what their primary concerns may be, and how to competently address all of their financial planning issues."

To use the ChSNC with the public, advisors must also have mastered the basics of financial planning as evidenced by holding either the CLU®, ChFC®, CFP® Certification, PFS credential, or a master's degree in financial planning (or an equivalent area of study).  Advisors can learn more about the Chartered Special Needs Consultant by visiting or by calling an educational counselor toll-free at 888-263-7265.  Consumers can visit for more details.

About The American College
The American College is the nation's largest non-profit educational institution devoted to financial services. Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has served as a valued business partner to banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and others for over 86 years. The American College's faculty represents some of the financial services industry's foremost thought leaders.

SOURCE The American College