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Special Needs Estate Planning focuses on providing for the special needs of our loved ones with disabilities when we are no longer there to organize and advocate on their behalf. Parents of children with special needs require careful estate planning choices to coordinate all of the legal, financial, and special care needs of their children – both now and in the future. 

Special Needs Trusts are a crucial component of your estate planning if you have loved ones with disabilities for whom you wish to provide after your passing. Many families struggle with the best way to provide for a child or other loved one who, due to a physical or mental challenge, and may never be in a position to effectively manage an inheritance. In addition, without proper planning, they may not qualify for certain supplemental government benefits, or become much more difficult to obtain.


There are two types of Special Needs Trusts:

  • Third-Party Special Needs Trust:  Created using the assets of the family members as part of an estate plan; distributed by a Will or Living Trust.

  • Self-Settled Special Needs Trust: Generally created by a parent, grandparent or legal guardian using the child’s assets to fund the Trust (e.g., when the child receives a settlement from a personal injury lawsuit and will require lifelong care). If assets remain in the Trust after the child’s death, a payback to the state is required, but only to the extent the child receives public assistance benefits.

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Special Needs Alliance

Developing an Estate Plan for Parents of Children with Disabilities

A 15-Step Approach provided by The Special Needs Alliance

Special Needs Answers

What Happens to Assets Left in a Special Needs Trust on the Death of the Beneficiary?

Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) and more...


Mason & Associates Law Firm
115 Isabella Lane, Suite 5
Brentwood, Tennessee 37027

Phone (615) 619-2791
Fax (615) 751-5208


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Mason & Associates Law Firm
1531 Hunt Club Boulevard
Suite 208
Gallatin, Tennessee 37066

Phone (615) 989-7054
Fax (615) 751-5208

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