Now that the MiAble accounts have been launched in Michigan, just this week, families have even more options.  Setting up a MiABLE account might be just the right thing for some families.  But as attractive as such accounts might be, using a special needs trust is still the smarter way to go for other families.

MiABLE or Special Needs Trust?

Some families, for various reasons, will still want to establish a special needs account on their own for a disabled child, but you should also know Michigan’s ABLE program (MiABLE) went live November 1, 2016.  You can enroll online  and you can find more general information at,4636,7-128-60921_74426—,00.html.
It’s the fifth program nationally and the fourth that Michiganders can enroll in (Ohio, Nebraska, and Tennessee being the others) says attorney Christopher Smith, of Chalgian and Tripp, who has followed these developments closely.  However, it is the first program to launch without any budget allocation from the state government he notes.  The Michigan Department of Treasury got this up and running without a financial allocation—and the TSA Consulting Group stepped up and seems willing to take the substantial financial risk of administering MiABLE.
A few reminders:

  • MiABLE accounts will be charged a fee of $45/year, plus the investment expense associated with the individual’s chosen investment option(s). This is in line with most such accounts available around the country so far.
  • There are several investment options open including “conservative” to some “aggressive” fund choices.
  • You can alert the world about the account, which may make it easier for other individuals to donate.
  • Only one account is allowed, and participants should be mindful to not exceed the fund account limits, or else some of the very benefits meant to be protected could be lost.

Clients should check out the state site.  For many with modest needs this may well work, even though any leftover money reverts to the state(s) for any benefits paid, and the type of investment options are limited.  Since these options are opening up, a bit of study is called for. Instead of setting up a special needs trust (with our help) for a disabled child, now families can balance the costs of taking that route and compare it to the relative ease (even with some constraints) of using a MiABLE account. Feel free to set up an appointment with us if you need to explore these options.
Bradley Vauter & Associates, P.C.
912 Charlevoix Drive.  Ste. 120
Grand Ledge MI
517 853-8015