Question for the Money Doctors
Question submitted on Oct 10, 2013.
QuestionCan a funeral trust be established at the time a person goes into a nursing home or does that need to be done prior to nursing home care?
Irrevocable funeral trusts can help you qualify for long-term care benefits through Medicaid because they can be funded with assets that would otherwise be counted resources for Medicaid. Because there is no “look-back” period for such transfers, you can setup and fund an irrevocable funeral trust right before you apply for Medicaid assistance.
Some individuals apply for Medicaid before entering a nursing home, while others qualify and file for Medicaid after entering a nursing home.
Medicaid is administered by the states. So, contact your state’s program and run your specific circumstances by them—just to make sure your overall plan to file for Medicaid is best suited for your state.
I also highly recommend legal counsel.  If needed, seek pro-bono legal aid (contact your local state bar association for example). If the person entering the nursing home has a spouse, it will be particularly important to protect assets for the spouse’s needs.
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