Your potential need for long-term care may be greater than you ever expected. And the truth of the matter is that the costs associated with long-term care can be astronomical. Without proper estate planning, these expenses can erode the value of your estate, threatening to leave your loved ones with nothing and jeopardizing your ability to obtain the care that you need.
What can you do to protect yourself and your estate?
Fortunately, you have options at your disposal. One of them is to utilize a Miller trust, sometimes referred to as a Qualified Income Trust. In short, these trusts allow you to place any income in excess of the Medicaid eligibility limit into the trust, thereby effectively reducing your income to the point that you qualify for Medicaid benefits. This is highly advantageous because Medicaid can then cover the bulk of your long-term care expenses.
What can trust funds be used for?
There are tight restrictions on how the assets in one of these trusts can be used. However, you will be allowed a personal needs allowance, which is pretty minimal, and your spouse may be able to receive a maintenance payment if he or she has little to no income. The maintenance payment is much more significant than the personal needs allowance.
Keep in mind, too, that the state is going to be the beneficiary of this trust. This means that when the time comes, the state is going to try to offset its Medicaid expenses by taking what it can from the trust.
Do you need help navigating your long-term care planning?
Thinking about how to cover your long-term care needs while still protecting your loved ones can be overwhelming. But there is a path forward for you. That’s why you might find it beneficial to discuss the realities of your situation with an attorney who knows the ins and outs of this area of the law.