Carmel Medicaid attorneys can help you to take steps to protect access to important Medicaid benefits. Medicaid benefits are means-tested, which means that benefits could be lost if you have too much wealth. Because of the strict rules for Medicaid eligibility, it is important to understand the rules for this important program if you hope to qualify for it or if want to ensure your actions do not inadvertently cause someone else to lose benefits.
One of the big issues that can arise when it comes to protecting access to Medicaid benefits exists because many parents and relatives want to provide for loved ones who are disabled. The problem is, if you simply give a gift to a disabled person — either during your lifetime in the form of an inter vivos gift or after your death as an inheritance or bequest — you could end up causing a loss of access to benefits. You want to make sure to avoid this, so you should work with Carmel Medicaid attorneys at Frank & Kraft to help you to make smart choices about how you provide for your disabled loved one.
Providing for a Disabled Relative Without Jeopardizing Medicaid Benefits
If you intend to provide a gift to anyone in your life who is receiving means-tested benefits like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income, you should work with an attorney first to understand the implications of your decision. If you provide a financial gift and this causes the disabled person to have too many assets to continue receiving benefits, this could create significant financial hardship.
The inheritance or gift you provided with the intent to enhance the quality of life of the disabled person could end up having to be spent on medical care or other expenditures which would normally have been covered by benefits if access to those benefits are lost. Many people who are disabled have costly bills that must be paid by Medicaid and do not have access to other types of insurance such as employer-provided insurance since they cannot work. Without insurance, a fortune could quickly be spent on paying for costly care and an inheritance could be gone in a matter of months.
To ensure this does not happen, you can instead work with an attorney to use tools such as a special needs trust to ensure continued access to benefits. A special needs trust could be used to provide money and property that actually enhances the quality of life of the person who is disabled without causing benefits to be lost. You will need to name a trustee to manage the assets held within the special needs trust and should provide specific instructions regarding how you want the assets that are held within the trust to be used to provide help and support to the disabled individual. Money in a special needs trust cannot be given to the disabled person as cash, and cannot provide cash-equivalents such as paying the rent of the disabled person. However, the funds can be used for many other important purposes to enhance quality of life.
Creating a special needs trust not only allows you to preserve access to benefits, but it also gives you more control over how money is managed. Since many people with severe disabilities cannot manage funds on their own, having the opportunity to name a reliable trustee to manage assets is a major benefit associated with this type of trust.
Getting Help from Carmel Medicaid Attorneys
Carmel Medicaid attorneys at Frank & Kraft can provide the personalized help and support that you need to ensure you use the best possible legal tools to provide for a disabled loved one in your life. We can help you to determine if a gift that you wish to provide to a loved one could cause Medicaid benefits or other important means-tested benefits to be put at risk. If there is a danger of losing benefits, we will help you to identify the right legal tools that you can use to ensure that you are able to provide for your loved one while maintaining access to benefits.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.