Will my child with special needs stay in Singapore?

24 Aug 2021

This month, we have Ms Claire Pan, one of our Case Managers (CMs) to share about a client who is a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR). Her article centers on families who moved to Singapore and are leaving the decision to return to their home country open.

Moving to another country to set up new life is exciting and full of unlimited possibilities. It also brings about some questions: “Will my family be able to adapt to the culture here?” “Can we build new friendships and a strong support system?”

Mdm S* moved to Singapore several years ago with her only child Alan* with autism, seeking a better future. Being a single mother and breadwinner, she set up a trust with SNTC in case anything untoward happened to her. She also completed her SNSS CPF nomination for Alan to receive her CPF savings as monthly payouts upon her demise as he is able to manage small amount of monies.

Mdm S is still undecided if she should retire in Singapore. The projected cost of Alan’s long-term care will be much lower in her home country.

However, should they leave Singapore, SNTC would not have oversight of Alan’s care, and would require Mdm S to set up a trust similar to that of SNTC’s in her home country for a trust-to-trust transfer so that SNTC can ensure that the new trust will continue to safeguard the trust funds in the best interests of Alan. Cost aside, perhaps an even greater consideration is that Alan may also have difficulties adapting to the new culture and environment as he does not speak the native tongue.

Meanwhile, SNTC continues to review the trust with Mdm S to explore Alan’s care options and earmark trust assets necessary for his long-term care. This experience has reminded me about the sacrifices that parents often have to make for their children, and the additional considerations that parents have for children with special needs.

There are no easy decisions for Mdm S and other clients in the same shoes, but SNTC will continue to work with them and explore alternatives for our life beneficiaries as the landscape of services change progressively in Singapore.

*Names used above are pseudonyms

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