Special Needs Planning

Providing for someone with special needs isn’t as simple as including them in a traditional will or trust. A direct distribution of funds from an estate could inadvertently disqualify you or your loved one from government benefits.

At TuckerAllen, we have in-depth experience to help you structure a special needs estate plan that not only designates who will inherit assets but also includes provisions for those with special needs. We’ll also explain the specific requirements that must be met for special needs estate plans and third-party supplemental needs trusts, and offer guidance in naming contingent beneficiaries.

Isn’t a Will or Trust Enough?

If you have a loved one with special needs, having a special needs estate plan gives you a way to provide them with a future that includes more than just the essentials – food, shelter, and medical care. This plan focuses on the unknown issues that can arise when we age and provides reassurance that the beneficiary will never lack “non-essentials” (companionship, clothing, dental care, a wheelchair, the ability to visit family and more) that aren’t covered by government-funded programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and VA Benefits.

Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to also create a third-party supplemental needs trust. Your TuckerAllen attorney will help you explore all of your options during your initial consultation.

Who Needs a Special Needs Estate Plan?

Do you have a loved one with a disability or a child who will never be able to live independently due to a condition such as autism or Down syndrome? Has your spouse been diagnosed with a progressively debilitating disease such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or ALS? If so, a special needs estate plan is the best way to not only allocate your assets but also preserve your loved one’s government disability benefits. The rules and laws preserving benefit eligibility are complex and the stakes are high, so a special needs estate plan is best created by an attorney with a depth of knowledge and experience in the field.

What’s a Third-Party Supplemental Needs Trust?

A third-party supplemental needs trust is not an estate plan, but a trust set up specifically for the benefit of an individual with special needs by a third party (often a family member or friend). A third-party trust is created with money set aside by a loved one to provide for the wellbeing of the individual who has the disability. It is structured to make assets available to the individual with special needs without rendering them ineligible for public benefit programs such as Medicaid and supplemental security income (SSI).

Special Needs Planning Pricing

Special Needs Estate Plan Package


If you are a family member, friend, or guardian of an individual with special needs, you may wish to choose the Special Needs Estate Plan Package instead of a traditional will or trust. This plan offers the additional advantage of allowing you to set aside funds for an individual with special needs without disqualifying them from receiving eligible public benefits. Includes: Advanced Planning Revocable Trust, Pour-Over Will, Healthcare Directive (Living Will), Medical Power of Attorney, HIPAA Release, Financial Power of Attorney and Beneficiary Deed.

$500 Initial Consultation


Individuals: $2,400
Couples: $3,800


The Initial Consultation Fee will be applied to future services.

Third-Party Supplemental Needs Trust


Unlike the Special Needs Estate Plan Package, a Third-Party Supplemental Needs Trust is not an estate plan. Instead, it is a trust set up specifically to benefit an individual with special needs by a third party (often a friend or family member). It is structured to make assets available to the special needs individual without rendering them ineligible for public benefit programs such as Medicaid and supplemental security income (SSI).

$500 Initial Consultation


$1,750


The Initial Consultation Fee will be applied to future services.

First-Party Special Needs Trust

Also known as a d4a Trust or Payback Trust, these documents are extremely important in assisting people with disabilities who receive money and cannot lose their government benefits. Without such a trust, the person with the disability would lose crucial benefits such as Medicaid, Social Security, or other government benefits that they depend upon for medical care, income, or housing needs. We are familiar with these trusts and assist clients in various situations where the client has received money from a personal injury settlement, inheritance, or newly discovered asset.

$500 Initial Consultation


Varies case-by-case.


Fees will be known at the end of the initial consultation.


The Initial Consultation Fee will be applied to future services.

O'Fallon, MO

2897 State Hwy K Suite 210
O'Fallon, MO 63368

(314) 384-6278

Location Details
Schedule Appointment

Kirkwood

1001 S. Kirkwood Rd. Suite 130
Kirkwood, MO 63122

(314) 375-2306

Location Details
Schedule Appointment

Fairview Heights

331 Salem Pl. Suite 210
Fairview Heights, IL 62208

(618) 579-1005

Location Details
Schedule Appointment

Town & Country

12935 N. Outer 40 Rd. Suite 102
Town & Country, MO 63141

(314) 529-0835

Location Details
Schedule Appointment

Edwardsville

239 N. Main St.
Edwardsville, IL 62025

(618) 589-3825

Location Details
Schedule Appointment

South St. Louis

6654 Chippewa St.
St Louis, MO 63109

(314) 644-3200

Location Details
Schedule Appointment