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Estate planning for children with special needs

If you reside in Missouri and are the parent of a disabled or special needs child, you may have valid concerns about who is going to provide and care for your child once you become unable to do so yourself. At Kozeny & McCubbin, we recognize that parents of special needs children face unique estate planning considerations, and we have helped many parents facing similar circumstances create effective plans for the future.

According to CNBC.com, one way parents can leave assets behind for their special needs children is through a special needs trust. Why might you consider leaving your disabled child assets in this type of trust, as opposed to leaving assets in a traditional will?

Chances are, your special needs child currently receives some type of public assistance, whether it be through Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income or what have you. The problem is, most of these federal benefits programs are income-based, meaning that, if your child has too much money at his or her disposal, this can disqualify him or her from being able to receive these critical benefits.

A special needs trust, however, offers a bit of a loophole. Any assets you leave your child in a special needs trust, which might include life insurance policies, among others, do not factor when during means testing for public assistance. In other words, while leaving your child assets in a will can hinder his or her ability to retain public assistance, leaving your child assets in a special needs trust allows you to provide for your disabled child safely. It also means you can do so without the fear that what you leave behind will hinder your child's public benefit eligibility. More about estate planning is available on our web page.


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Kozeny & McCubbin, L.C. | 312400 Olive Blvd., Suite 555, | St. Louis, MO 63141 | Phone: 314-991-0255  | Map & Directions