If a Medicaid applicant’s total income is more than $2,313 per month for 2019, the applicant is not qualified to receive Medicaid nursing home benefits. But, federal law permits a Medicaid applicant to deposit his or her income into a Qualified Income Trust (QIT) and be eligible for Medicaid. The income placed in the Qualified Income Trust is not counted as income for purposes of the income cap. Therefore, the Medicaid applicant with high income can actually qualify for Medicaid.
If you or a loved one has income that exceeds the Medicaid guidelines, the cost savings of having ElderLawLexington draft and properly execute a QIT pales in comparison to any mistakes you may make using a preprinted form that you may have found on the Internet. Administering a Qualified Income Trust to maintain Medicaid benefits requires understanding of the legal aspects and Medicaid requirements. ElderLawLexington not only drafts the Qualified Income Trust documents, but we also guide you through the process of administering the QIT to preserve the Medicaid eligibility and to help you avoid common mistakes people make.
There are several rules that apply to Qualified Income Trusts. First, such a trust is irrevocable. Thus, the trustmaker can’t change their mind and undo the trust. Second, the trust must provide that, upon the trustmaker’s death, the assets of the trust are payable to the state’s Medicaid program up to the amount that the agency has expended on the trustmaker’s behalf. Third, only income is to be placed in the trust. Other assets, such as a deed to the house or title to a vehicle, may not be included in a Qualified Income Trust. ElderLawLexington handles a wide range of estate planning needs, including Qualified Income Trusts as well as other Medicaid trusts.
Thinking about one’s later years may be difficult, especially if chronic issues make it likely that nursing home care will be a possibility. Nursing homes are expensive and paying for long-term care is often a major drain on one’s savings and other assets. Insurance can help fill the gap for some people, but many seniors will need the assistance of Medicaid in order to pay for the nursing home expenses and other health care needs. ElderLawLexington | McClelland & Associates, PLLC, can help you explore your legal options, including trust documents such as a Qualified Income Trust, as you make plans for future needs. The simple fact is that not everyone who needs long-term care qualifies for government assistance.
A Qualified Income Trust is an irrevocable trust that contains income only and no assets. The trust should be established before the Medicaid application is submitted. It must be irrevocable. The Medicaid applicant is the creator of the QIT and signs the trust document. If an applicant cannot sign, his or her spouse or agent under power of attorney may sign. Normally, an adult child is the Trustee of the Qualified Income Trust and has a fiduciary duty to see that the trust is administered correctly. Therefore, the Trustee generally sets up a special QIT bank account that is funded each month during which Medicaid benefits are active.
Be cautious of any person who is not an attorney and is drafting a Qualified Income Trust, because they are engaging in the unlawful practice of law. It only takes a one-month delay in Medicaid benefits to cost you several thousand dollars if you fail to consult with the qualified attorneys at ElderLawLexington. Contact us today to schedule your conference for a Qualified Income Trust. Call Before The Fall ®