Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Special Needs Trusts: What Are They and Who Needs Them?

estate planning lawyer in New YorkSpecial needs trust are designed to assist physically or mentally disabled individuals. These trusts are also sometimes referred to as supplemental needs trusts. They allow monetary assets and other types of assets to be maintained for the disabled individuals. These trusts protect the assets and give the special individuals the use and enjoyment of the assets, but see to it that the assets do not prevent or interfere with any of the governmental benefits these special individuals are receiving. These trusts usually have a trustee who is a family member, close friend or other trusted individual to see to it that the terms of the trust are carried out.

First Party Special Needs Trust

These types of special needs trusts are created by parents or other family member for a special individual who is under 65 years of age. The trust is specifically designed to avoid interfering with the individual receiving benefits from social security, medicaid or other programs. Upon the death of the beneficiary of this trust, Medicaid can seek to recover their prior expenditures on behalf of the beneficiary from the balance of the corpus of the trust.

Third Party Special Needs Trust

These trusts can be created for a special person at any age. These trusts also do not have an impact on the receipt by the special individual of governmental benefits. Upon the death of the beneficiary of the trust, the trust assets are distributed pursuant to the terms of the trust. Medicaid or other state programs are unable to recover any of the funds from these trusts.

estate planning attorneyElliot Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has more than 35 years of experience dealing with all aspects of wills, trusts, and estate planning.

Managed Medicaid Home Care

elder law attorneysNew York State has a new managed Medicaid Long Term Care Plan (MLTC). Under this program, the State of New York pays for long-term care of an individual in a community setting. This generally refers to paying for home care for someone living at home. A healthcare aide or personal care aide helps take care of this individual in his or her residence.  This program does not involve a “fee for service” payment arrangement.

Under the Medicaid paid managed long term care program, Medicaid pays a home care agency, which acts as the Medicaid provider, a specific fixed monthly amount for each person in the program. The same amount is paid without regard to the services actually provided.

There are currently two types of programs available in the State of New York. The first program is called Paid All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The second program is called Medicaid Managed Long Term Care plan (MMLTC). The eligibility requirements for each of these programs are exactly the same.

Eligibility For Managed Medicaid Home Care Programs

The current eligibility requirement is $14,400 in assets. In addition an individual going into the program can have $800 per month in income. To get into the program, the perspective applicant must prove that his or her total assets are not greater than the $14,400.  Excluded from the assets test is the value of the primary residence, personal property and a car. In the event the individual applying for the program has income greater than $800 per month, he or she must either spend down the excess on expenses related to their care or enter into a pooled trust. In cases where the proposed plan participant is married, the total income for the family is $1,175 a month and total assets is $21,150. It should be noted there is no penalty for the transfer of assets that exists for filing for Institutional Medicaid benefits and there is no five year look back period.

About The Author

financial planning for retirementElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law attorneys and works with clients with regard to all Medicaid planning matters as well as elder care and trusts and estates related matters.

Chat Banner

Can We Help You?