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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  30+ yrs. handling probate estate, wills, trust, inheritance & real estate related matters
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My 90 year old aunt fell, was hospitalized and is being discharged

Customer Question

My 90 year old aunt fell, was hospitalized and is being discharged into a skilled nursing facility. She has $32,000 in savings. How can she prepay her funeral and burial expenses from her savings without being penalized by Medicare?.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 1 year ago.

TMcJD :

Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

TMcJD :

What state is this in?

Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I will be happy to assist you, and it is my goal to make you a very satisfied customer! This may take a few minutes, so thanks for your patience.

What state is this in?
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 1 year ago.
Sorry about the double post. There's some sort of issue happening with the system this morning.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

She is in California.


 


I called a local funeral home; a prepaid funeral package is $4800.


 


She also wants to be buried with her parents in New York. She owns a burial plot there. Internment costs would be another $2000. These interment costs cannot be prepaid. Can I have her open a separate savings account for burial costs?


 


 

Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 1 year ago.
Sorry. Something came up and I cannot continue to assist you. I will opt out and allow another expert to help. You have not been charged and will not be until you receive an answer and are satisfied. Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

How do I locate another expert?

Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 1 year ago.
You don't. One will see your question as open and be able to step in and assist you. Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK..I'm waiting

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Kindly use CONTINUE or REPLY button to ask for clarification or follow-up questions.



A different Professional here:


Your Question: My 90 year old aunt fell, was hospitalized and is being discharged into a skilled nursing facility. She has $32,000 in savings. How can she prepay her funeral and burial expenses from her savings without being penalized by Medicare?.



Response: She can just take money from her savings to pay for the costs. Her estate would not be penalized for doing this because the estate is expected to pay for funeral expenses. So, you do not need set up a special account for burial expenses to achieve this. It is worth noting that once she goes into the skilled care nursing facility that Medicaid is the one that pays for her expenses and not Medicare.



For more information on Medicaid Estate Recovery, click on the links below:




http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/reports/estaterec.htm




http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/formsandpubs/documents/dhcs9059_er_broch_en.pdf




http://www.canhr.org/factsheets/medi-cal_fs/html/fs_medcal_recovery_FAQ.htm




http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/ms/forms/14_454.pdf

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the reply, but you misunderstood the issue.


 


The issue in not how Medi-Cal would recover skilled nursing home costs from her estate after her death.


 


The question is how my aunt would qualify for Medi-Cal with savings (assets) of $32,000. The application instructions note "that as a single person she must have less than $2,000 in bank accounts/ retirement accts combined or will bbe over property and will expected to spend down in order to qualify."


 


How can she spend down to $2,000 and still pay the $4800 funeral and $1900 burial costs?

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the information.

With all due respect, your inital post was quite different:

"My 90 year old aunt fell, was hospitalized and is being discharged into a skilled nursing facility. She has $32,000 in savings. How can she prepay her funeral and burial expenses from her savings without being penalized by Medicare?. "


I will opt out and give another Expert the opportunity to further assist you since I do not have ALL the answers to your follow-up questions.

Please do not respond to me because doing so would delay a response from another Expert.

Best wishes
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I'll try to assist. You can prepay her anticipated burial expense from her savings account now, before you spend down the rest. I believe that transport to the burial site and other related services can be included and pre-paid. Here is some information on this subject of irrevocable funeral expense trusts which you might find helpful: http://www.payingforseniorcare.com/medicaid-waivers/irrevocable-funeral-trusts.html NOTE: These arrangements need to be accomplished before the Medicaid application is submitted.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This is exactly the type of help I need....However the nursing home will help my aunt begin the Medi-Cal application tomorrow (Monday).


 


Where can I find someone to do this irrevocable funeral expense trust?

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

I have no personal experience in actually creating one of these. There isn't a lot of information on how to do it and/or who the trustee can be. My understanding is that it is usually done by funeral directors, but I see no reason why a family member or attorney could not serve, except for the accounting and reporting requirements, which could eat into the trust fund. See this site for a form of trust agreement: http://www.cfb.ca.gov/audits/2012fun_nonreport.pdf Also, this firm might be able to give you some advice. They are the people who created the first web-site I sent you.

The American Elder Care Research Organization
736 Cole Street
San Francisco, California 94117
Telephone:(NNN) NNN-NNNNExt. 606151#

Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4872
Experience: 30+ yrs. handling probate estate, wills, trust, inheritance & real estate related matters
Irwin Law and 6 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The trust form you sent does not seem to conform to the previous noted requirement of being "irrevocable".


 


Would an attorney or a funeral director be capable of completing the trust agreement in a day?


 

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

That, It appears, is not the trust form itself. I cannot locate an on-line form. Only information about the Irrevocable Trust itself. An estate or elder law attorney in your area might possibly be able to set up a trust quickly.

Here is a website that utilizes insurance agents in your area. These trusts are often funded using prepaid http://www.funeraltrusts.com/ single premium insurance policies. When you open it (you can x off the 'site for sale' ad) click on HOW DO I CREATE A FUNERAL TRUST. You then enter your zip code and it will give you a list of agents in your area. I tried it and I was provide 10 agents, several of whom I know.

Here is another website with clear explanation of the insurance process: http://www.slideshare.net/apenry/funeral-trust-explained

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