Carmel Medicaid attorneys provide assistance with securing access to Medicaid coverage, if such access becomes necessary. We also provide assistance in protecting and preserving access to Medicaid. Medicaid is a means-tested program and there are strict qualification requirements, so anyone who wishes to obtain benefits or who doesn’t want to lose benefits will need to understand the rules.
One issue commonly arises in connection with Medicaid: disabled people often rely on it, but could lose it if they acquire too many assets. This means that if you have a relative who is disabled and you want to provide a financial gift for your relative during your lifetime (an inter vivos gift) or you want to provide a financial gift after your death, you could potentially cause a loss of access to benefits. You don’t want to end up depriving your disabled loved one of Medicaid he or she was counting on, so you need to understand how to best structure the gift you offer.
Frank & Kraft can help. We can work with you to ensure you are able to provide appropriately for a disabled person who you care about without putting important means-tested benefits at risk.
How to Provide for A Disabled Relative Without Jeopardizing Benefits
If you wish to provide for a relative with a disability without jeopardizing access to means-tested Medicaid, you should strongly consider working with Carmel Medicaid attorneys to create a special needs trust. A special needs trust is also called a supplemental needs trust. It is specifically intended to provide a higher quality of life for someone with a disability by making assets available to pay for things that government benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) do not cover.
When you create a special needs trust, you can transfer assets into the trust in order to provide for the person with the disability and those assets will not count when eligibility for Medicaid or other means-tested programs is determined. Not only that, but the trust also allows you to name a trustee who will be responsible for managing money if the disabled person isn’t able to do so on his or her own — which is common.
When you make your trust document for the special needs trust that you create to provide for your disabled loved one, you can specify what you want the funds to be used for. This can help you to ensure the money is able to provide your relative with things that enhance his or her quality of life. However, you need to ensure that you comply with the rules. Money in the trust cannot just be given to the person with the disability, and it also cannot be used to do things like pay rent or other fixed expenses that the person with the disability would otherwise have to pay out-of-pocket. Cash or cash equivalents are verboten when spending the assets from a special needs trust.
Creating a special needs trust is vital because many people with disabilities don’t have the ability to work in a job that provides health insurance and don’t have the ability to buy health insurance on the private marketplace. If you provide an inheritance and it causes a loss of access to means-tested Medicaid, the disabled person would likely be forced to use the money you provided to buy an expensive insurance policy — which might have limited coverage — or might be forced to use the funds to pay for medical care which Medicaid would typically have covered. You don’t want money to be wasted like this, so you shouldn’t hesitate to use a special needs trust to protect the inheritance you are providing.
Getting Help from Carmel Medicaid Attorneys
Frank & Kraft has provided assistance to many individuals with the creation of a special needs trust. We can provide you with help determining if you should create this type of trust for your disabled loved one. We can also offer other comprehensive advice about ensuring you or your disabled loved one is able to retain access to Medicaid.
To find out more about how our Carmel Medicaid attorneys can offer you assistance with qualifying for or maintaining eligibility for Medicaid, you can join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online at any time or personalized advice on Medicaid planning issues.
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.