Dear Customer - You can certainly claim half of any money in the joint account as yours. Your sister can prepay her funeral costs with part of her half as this would be an acceptable expenditure. Since your sister's half is about $4,200 it would seem that most of it could be used for the funeral costs and you would keep your half so in essence all of the money would be protected.
I am certain you have to actually pay for a funeral as a prepaid item rather than making the funeral director the beneficiary of the estate. It has to be something that is irrevocable rather than just a beneficiary of a bank account. Medicaid is fairly strict in their rules so you must divest your sister of her assets before she will be eligible.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).