Steve realized his father, Hank, needed help. Still, he was surprised when a doctor told him that Hank needed 24/7 nursing care. As he looked for a nursing home, he was surprised at the cost and unsure of how his father would pay for it. Someone suggested he check into Medicaid. Steve checked the Alabama Medicaid website, but was dismayed to learn his father’s income was just a little too high. Fortunately, someone suggested he see a Medicaid planning attorney to ask about Miller Trusts.
When someone applies for Medicaid benefits, a caseworker reviews their application and supporting documents to make sure they are eligible. In particular, they look at income and resources.
To qualify for Medicaid, an individual’s monthly income must be no more than $2,205. The individual’s resource limit must be $2,000 or less on the first day of each month.
These limitations are important to know. For example, if Hank’s income is $2,500 a month, he may be denied Medicaid benefits. Fortunately, there may be a solution to Hank’s problem with excess income.
Where a Miller Trust Might Help
Medicaid applicant’s, or their families, may need to find a legal way to reduce the applicant’s monthly income. This often is accomplished through a Miller trust.
All trusts have a grantor, trustee, and at least one beneficiary. Trusts are also funded with money or other assets.
With a Miller Trust, a Medicaid applicant or recipient deposits their monthly income in excess of Medicaid limits into the trust. The amount deposited no longer counts against the benefit recipient.
With Hank, he makes almost $300 a month more than the Medicaid income limit. He may be able to open a Miller trust, then deposit $300 a month into the trust.
The trustee can use funds from the Miller trust to pay the recipient’s expenses.
Setting a Trust Is Tricky
The attorneys at Miller Estate and Elder Law use their experience and knowledge of trusts to help clients make informed decisions. For a free consultation, contact us at 256-251-2137 or use our convenient Contact Form. Although we’re located in Anniston and Birmingham, we also help clients in the Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.