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Elder Law issues: What is a Miller Trust and do you need one?

Many Delaware residents will need long-term care as they age. Qualifying for Medicaid benefits to help pay for that care can be problematic. Fortunately, elder law does include some estate planning tools that could help such as a Miller Trust, which is an irrevocable qualified income trust.

Few Delaware residents are able to afford nursing home care without government assistance. The necessary care can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year, and most people do not have that kind of money even if they have long-term care insurance or have put money aside. The problem is that Medicaid has extensive and complex rules regarding income. Going over that threshold could mean a denial of benefits.

Some people do not find this out until they are faced with either going into a nursing home themselves or moving a family member into one. An estate-planning attorney who regularly deals with elder law issues can review your situation and advise you on the best course of action. The goal is to be able to afford the necessary care while being able to obtain Medicaid benefits. This can be accomplished by putting any monies that are in excess of the maximum income allowed into a Miller Trust.

Setting up a Miller Trust can be a complicated process. Therefore, it would be inadvisable to attempt to create one on your own. The time and money spent having an estate planning or elder law attorney prepare and oversee the execution of the documentation is worth the peace of mind that it was done properly. Otherwise, the care needed by you or your elderly family member could be in jeopardy.

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