Fratello Law

How to Use Pooled Trusts for Medicaid Planning

While there are many myths surrounding Medicaid in New York, one of the most common misconceptions is that a person “makes too much money” to qualify for Community Medicaid.  With the rising cost of long term care, many New York residents are unable to afford to pay for home health aid services in addition to their monthly expenses while remaining at home. If you or someone you love need home health aid services and is seeking Medicaid to offset the cost of that care, a pooled trust is a vital tool to help you qualify for benefits and have Medicaid cover the cost of approved care in the home. A seasoned elder law and estate planning attorney can help you set up a pooled trust to get you essential care, preserve your income for you other expenses and to ensure your needs are met. 

The skilled attorneys at Fratello Law have the experience and skills necessary to help you set up a pooled trust and help you qualify and apply for Medicaid benefits. We are dedicated to building meaningful and lasting relationships with our clients to help them plan for their futures and receive the care they need. When you retain our services, you can trust an experienced and empathetic attorney to take a personal approach to your unique needs.

What is a Pooled Trust?

A pooled surplus income trust is a specific type of trust operated by non-profit organizations. If you have a disability and require home care or community Medicaid benefits, a pooled trust may be an option to help you protect your income if you earn above a certain income level. A pooled trust allows you to deposit your surplus income into your account and then utilize those funds to pay your monthly expenses, instead of paying the cost of home health aid services. Typically, disabled individuals and seniors that require home health can qualify. Your lawyer can help you set up a pooled surplus income trust to preserve your income and maintain Medicaid benefits. 

How to Know if a Pooled Trust is Right for You

One of the most critical benefits of using a pooled trust is having access to your income to meet your needs and expenses at home while maintaining Medicaid benefits, despite the rigorous income requirements. However, there are several more benefits to setting up a pooled trust, including the following:

  • Pooled trusts are typically more affordable to establish than stand-alone trusts
  • You are not required to find your own trustee
  • Pooled trusts are managed by trained professionals and are often more efficient than standard trusts
  • The organization managing the pooled trust will be familiar with the particulars of Medicaid and SSI requirements

While there are many advantages to a pooled trust, it is also essential to understand the possible drawbacks before making an informed decision. Some disadvantages to a pooled trust include the following:

  • Decisions regarding the trust management are made in strict adherence to Medicaid and SSI requirements and cannot be tailored to your individual needs that do not align with those requirements.
  • All expenses paid by the pooled trust must be in the name of and for the benefit of the principal beneficiary.
  • When the principal beneficiary passes away, the remaining funds remain with the non-profit and may not be distributed to your heirs or beneficiaries.

The skilled attorneys at Fratello Law will work with you to review your needs and possible next steps. We are committed to ensuring our clients are well informed on their options and helping them qualify for the care they need. 

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Fratello Law

If you are considering whether or not a pooled trust is suitable for your family, the seasoned attorneys at Fratello Law may be able to help. Our small firm has a big heart, and we are dedicated to helping you plan for Medicaid and access the care you require while protecting your income and preserving your assets. Our experienced attorneys pride themselves on taking a personalized approach to our clients’ needs to ensure each of their concerns is addressed. We pride ourselves on building trust and meaningful relationships as we protect our client’s rights and assets. 

To schedule a free consultation, call our Suffolk County office at (631) 406-5580 or our Nassau County office at (516) 321-4010. You can also reach out through our online contact form. We look forward to welcoming you to our client family.