Special Needs Trust Lawyer O’Fallon, MO

What Is A Special Needs Trust?

Special Needs Trust Lawyer O'Fallon, Missouri

A special needs trust lawyer in O’Fallon, MO can tell you that a trust is created when property or assets are managed by a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiary. In the case of a special needs trust, family members set up a trust fund to benefit a mentally ill or mentally disabled individual. The disabled beneficiary typically lacks the ability to manage their own finances, so a special needs trust is created to provide for the disabled person’s specific needs. This type of trust still qualifies the disabled person for government benefits; when a disabled person receives an asset or inheritance, it can eliminate their eligibility from government assistance programs, so it is important to properly set up a special needs trust to avoid a cut to government benefits. Working with a qualified special needs trust for lawyer O’Fallon, MO can help your special needs dependent get the support they need after you are gone.

Why Set Up A Special Needs Trust?

If a family leaves an asset to a disabled loved one in the form of a will, the disabled person may have reduced government assistance or be disqualified from government benefits altogether. While inheritance from a will may be helpful for the disabled person, a special needs trust lawyer in O’Fallon, MO can help your family get government benefits that may last longer and may help the disabled person sustain a healthier life for a longer period of time.

Common benefits of special needs trusts include:

Protecting the disabled beneficiary against financial abuse.

The disabled beneficiary will still qualify for government assistance programs such as:

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Subsidized housing



Social Security

The trusts can be used to set up inheritance funds for the disabled person.

If the disabled beneficiary inherits any assets, they will go into the special needs trust, which enables them to be eligible for government assistance.

If the disabled beneficiary is ever sued, the special needs trust is overlooked and the funds cannot be touched.

It is designed for the specific needs of the disabled.

The trustee provides necessities for the disabled person through the funds in the trust.

It ensures that the funds are being used for the disabled beneficiary and not for other means.

Funds used are tax deductible.

Funds are not available for creditors.

Some disadvantages of special needs funds include high costs to set up the trust, and annual fees to maintain it. Another disadvantage is that the disabled beneficiary has little to no control over the use of the funds since it is all handled through a trustee. The latter may be seen as an advantage depending on the situation and a O’Fallon, MO special needs trust lawyer can help you make an informed decision.

How Special Needs Trusts Can Be Used

The trustee is the only person who can access the funds in the special needs trust, so it is important to select a trustee who is competent and credible. A special needs trust lawyer serving O’Fallon, MO is a good choice for a trustee, because the trustee uses the funds in the trust to provide necessities for your disabled loved one such as:

  • Personal care attendants
  • Personal care supplies
  • Medical expenses
  • Rent expenses
  • Education
  • Recreational use for the disabled beneficiary

If you have a child with special needs, it becomes even more important to start the estate planning process early. Whether your child has a mental or physical disability, you want to ensure he or she is taken care of when you’re gone. Many families with disabled children create special needs trusts, which provide for disabled people without jeopardizing government benefits. A special needs trust lawyer from Klenk Law list some of the factors to consider when creating a special needs trust below.

Government Benefits

Do you think your child will require government benefits, such as Social Security or Medicaid, in the future? If the answer is yes, you should make arrangements early to ensure the trust doesn’t jeopardize those benefits. An experienced special needs trust lawyer may help you accomplish this.

Firm to Manage Trust

Special needs trusts are even more complex than traditional trusts, so it is a good idea to hire an O’Fallon, Missouri law firm that specializes in this. You want to ensure that your child’s trust is managed properly. If your child’s trust, for example, has $250,000 or more in it, you may want to hire a law firm that has experience working with large amounts of money.

Amount of Money

Another important factor you must consider when establishing a special needs trust is how much money you want to put in it. While the obvious answer might be as much as possible, it is not always feasible. For example, if you have other children, you may want to give them a fair share. It may be in your best interest to discuss this matter with a financial advisor who specializes in special needs financial planning.

Revocable or Irrevocable

A special needs trust should typically be irrevocable, however, if you and the other parent only plan to contribute to the trust, you can choose to make it revocable and make changes to it at any time.

Additional Documents

When a person turns 18, he or she is considered an adult and able to make decisions. However, if your child has special needs, he or she might not be capable of making decisions when he or she becomes an adult. If you want another person, like a relative, to make decisions for your child, you may need to submit documents for power of attorney, guardianship, and other important matters.

As you can see, there are a lot of different matters to think about when setting up a special needs trust. It can get a little overwhelming. If you need assistance setting up this trust, don’t hesitate to talk to a special needs trust lawyer.

At Legacy Law Center, each special needs trust lawyer O’Fallon, Missouri clients recommend has extensive experience creating special needs trusts and may help you in any way you need. They take the time to listen to their clients’ requests and answer any questions they may have.

Pros and Cons of Trusts

A common misconception is that trusts are only for the wealthy and for those with countless assets. That is not the case. Just like everyone can benefit from estate plans more generally, so too can most people benefits from trusts, specifically. In particular, people who with special need dependents have many reasons to consider a trust.  Talking with a special needs trust lawyer in O’Fallon, MO is the best way to determine if your situation can benefit from a trust.

Pros of trusts

When creating an estate plan, a will is generally the central document associated with the planning. Wills allow you to determine who gets what. The downside to a will is that they still require probate, a costly and timely expense. Trusts, on the other hand, avoid all that.

One of the biggest advantages of working with a special needs trust lawyer for O’Fallon, MO and creating a trust is the avoidance of probate. This helps to expedite the transfer of your assets to your heirs and it reduces the overall costs associated with probating your estate. Every piece of property that is held within a trust passes to your heirs according to your wishes in the trust.

What this provides you is peace of mind knowing your wishes will be explicitly followed. This also allows you to pass your possessions on as you see fit. Instead of giving an amount to an heir when you die, you can spread that amount out over time. An experienced special needs trust lawyer serving O’Fallon, MO knows that this is a good tactic to use when you want to leave someone money who isn’t financially responsible. By placing their inheritance in a trust and laying out the terms of their inheritance, you ensure that your special needs dependent receives a greater benefit by receiving the funds more like an allowance instead of in a lump sum.

Cons of trusts

For people who do not have substantial assets, setting up a trust can be cost prohibitive. Trusts are more expensive to create than wills and trusts are taxed. A trust will not reduce your capital gains tax if the trust is worth less than $11 million.

If you only want to provide lump sum cash distributions, don’t have anyone with special needs that you want to care for, and don’t need to worry about the estate tax exemption limits, then an estate plan without a trust may be the best course of action for your specific situation.

Another con of a trust is that you still need a will. This is a simple will, called a pour-over will. This serves a simple purpose: any assets that you may own when you die that you didn’t title in the name of the trust will immediately become trust property upon your death. In other words, all of those assets pour over into the trust upon your death.

Is a trust right for you?

Don’t let the complexities and cost deter you from considering a trust. There are many more benefits to a trust than there are negatives. Speaking with a special needs trust lawyer in  O’Fallon, MO at the Legacy Law Center will help you determine if a trust is right for you.

We can examine your personal situation, your assets, and your desires for distribution of your assets. By doing so, O’Fallon, MO special needs trust lawyer can recommend exactly which path is right for your situation. Contact Legacy Law Center today to find out if a trust is right for you.

Contact Legacy Law Center

Although any individual can set up a special needs trust, it is highly advised to seek help from an attorney while setting up a special needs trust. Specific requirements are necessary for the document regarding the special needs trust to become legally enforceable. Our team of lawyers at Legacy Law Center are here to help you set up a special needs trust that will benefit your disabled love one. Please call us today at for more information on special needs trusts, or to set up a consultation with a trusted special needs trust lawyer serving O’Fallon, MO today!