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We all want to provide for our children, and perhaps even leave a little something behind to help lighten their load after we're gone. But when you're the parent of a disabled child who may outlive you, the importance—and complexity—of putting financial safeguards in place takes on new meaning.

Indeed, the manner in which you distribute assets to a special needs beneficiary after you die not only impacts his or her eligibility for government benefits but also their quality of life going forward.

"Being well-intentioned is not enough," said Michael Duckworth, a Merrill Lynch financial advisor who specializes in estate planning for clients with a disabled...

ARLINGTON, Va. — The upcoming Independence Day holiday is when the most motor vehicle deaths occur, based on experience during 1986-2002. Each year on this holiday, an average of 161 people die in crashes. This is 12 more deaths than the average on any other single day of the year and about 40 percent more crash deaths than occur on an average day. The second worst day for crash deaths during 1986-2002 was July 3. July 2 also was among the days with the most deaths.

Six of the 10 days with the most deaths were holidays or near holidays. Besides the high toll on July 2-4, there was December 23, January 1, and September 2. The other four days on the "wors...

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