Estate Planning: Helping Protect Your Interests

The History of Missouri Special Needs Trusts

Misty A. Watson

Misty A. Watson




Genesis of Current Law: Case Study

A Special Needs Trust (also known as Supplemental Support Trust) is a legal mechanism that allows families to provide funds to relatives with special needs without interfering with their government benefits. The Missouri Division of Family Services (DFS) and the Social Security Administration analyze the special needs person’s assets annually to determine if he or she qualifies for government benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.

If that person has more than $1,000-2,000 (depending on the program) in assets, he or she will be disqualified and will not receive the benefits. Most families need to maintain government benefits for family members with special needs, but also want to provide additional support.

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