Estate Planning Isn’t Just For The Elderly

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How do trusts factor into Medicaid planning?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2022 | Medicaid Planning

It is impossible to predict when serious accidents may happen, or what sort of effects they may have. Medicaid exists to help provide people who face sudden disabilities and injuries with the financial support needed to survive.

Individuals in New York with low enough income may qualify for Medicaid even after they put their assets in a trust. Any interests that go toward these trusts may not get counted when determining eligibility.

Standalone vs pooled trusts

New York State’s Department of Health discusses important information about the state’s Medicaid system. For example, special needs trusts can actually help secure a person’s eligibility for Medicaid.

Any individual under the age of 65 with a disability can create either standalone or pooled special needs trusts without it impacting their Medicaid eligibility. Pooled trusts are controlled by nonprofit organizations which dictate the flow of assets on behalf of the disabled individual.

Assets will remain in the pooled trust after the death of the individual, and be used by the nonprofit organization in order to help care for other disabled individuals also using the pooled trust. Standalone special needs trusts will reimburse Medicaid after the death of the individual for the money they received, though.

Irrevocable trusts

Meanwhile, irrevocable Medicaid trusts could potentially protect family assets. Such trusts can do things like preserve a couple’s retirement plans and primary residence. People can also place items of value like jewelry and vehicles into such a trust.

Thus, different types of trusts will have different benefits, allowing individuals the ability to choose which one suits their situation the best.