Tip – A Will with a Special Needs Trust protects the assets of your spouse who is on Medicaid.
If you are married and your spouse needs help with his or her care—whether in a facility or in your own home—you may apply for Medicaid to help pay for their care. Once your spouse is on Medicaid, if you pass away before your spouse does and all your assets go to him or her, it will put your spouse over Medicaid’s asset limit of $2,000, and they will no longer be eligible to receive Medicaid. It is a little known fact that if you have a spouse who is receiving Medicaid, you can write a Will with a Special Needs Trust. If you have a Special Needs Trust for your spouse, your assets go into a Trust instead of going to your spouse. This keeps your spouse from losing his or her eligibility for Medicaid.
A Will with a Special Needs Trust works just like a regular Will, except it protects the assets of your spouse who is on Medicaid. The Trust funds may be used to supplement the needs of your spouse over and above their care, support, and maintenance. The Trust can be used to cover medical services not covered by Medicaid. In addition, the Trust can make expenditures for travel, companionship, cultural experiences, recreational activities, sporting activities, trips, hobby
materials, furnishings, or personal needs—anything that will enhance the quality of life of your spouse. After your spouse passes, the assets in the Trust are subject to Estate Recovery.
In conclusion, if you pass away before your spouse who is on Medicaid, a Special Needs Trust, written in your Will, can protect your assets and be used to enhance your spouse’s quality of life.
View our “Senior’s Guide to a Well-Planned Future” on our website! Packer Elder Care Law – with you for life!
Tom Packer is an Elder Law Attorney serving all Southeast Idaho. As part of his law practice, Tom offers Life Care Planning to deal with the challenges created by long-term illness, disability and incapacity. If you have a question about a Senior’s legal, financial or healthcare needs, please call us.