There are different kinds of trusts that the Elder Law Attorneys at Lamson & Cutner, P.C., may recommend to you, depending upon your individual needs and circumstances. Below you will find a discussion regarding Pooled Income Trusts.
Pooled Income Trust
Individuals of any age who suffer from a disability who have “excess income,” may want to consider participating in a pooled income trust. Normally, such individuals would have to “spend down” their “excess income” in order to qualify or maintain their eligibility for Medicaid benefits. With a pooled income trust, however, the “excess income” can be contributed to the trust, and the trust will then use this money to pay for the beneficiary’s luxuries and necessities. In many cases, the pooled income trust will make it possible for the beneficiary to continue living in his own home or with relatives and qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Here is an example of how the pooled income trust operates:
If Mrs. Jones has a monthly income of $1,829 in Social Security and pension income, and she is receiving Medicaid benefits for home care in her Park Slope, Brooklyn Co-Op, she has $1,000 in "excess income" under the current Medicaid rules. As a result, Mrs. Jones is required to send a check each month in the amount of $1,000 to her health care provider as a contribution to the cost of her care.
However, when Mrs. Jones joins a qualified pooled income trust, her $1,000 check will be sent to the trust instead of her health care provider. The trust will then be able to pay any of Mrs. Jones'
expenses, such as the rent or maintenance fee for her Brooklyn Co-Op, her utilities, her food, or her clothing, from her own funds. Mrs. Jones will continue to receive her Medicaid home care, as well.
The pooled income trust contains the funds of many disabled persons and is managed by a non-profit organization that maintains separate accounts for each individual. In order to participate in the trust, the disabled person (or his representative acting under durable power of attorney) signs an agreement with the trust. Under this agreement, upon the beneficiary’s death, if there are any remaining funds they are kept by the trust.
Those who wish to participate in a pooled income trust will have to establish that they are disabled, but findings of disability by the Social Security Administration or by Medicaid are valid for this purpose. The funds deposited to the pooled income trust can be spent on any expense of the person for whom the trust was created, except that, for persons receiving SSI, the trust funds cannot be spent on food or housing.
Trusts are complex legal documents
Whether to establish a trust, and the terms and conditions of the trust, are matters to review with competent legal counsel. Trusts are complex documents that should be tailored to the individual needs and circumstances of the individuals involved.
Disabled persons and their familes from the NYC Metropolitan Area are invited to email Lamson & Cutner, P.C. or or call Toll Free 1 (866) 524-1818 and feel comfortable and confident that their New York Trust attorneys will advise you on the details of a Pooled Income Trust with compassion and understanding.
Click here to learn more about Supplemental Needs Trusts.