Miller Trusts 6/2010
A Miller Trust is an irrevocable, legal trust that permits a nursing home patient to become income eligible for Medicaid. It does not require any advanced planning and is typically used in a crisis situation. Most often, a Miller Trust is needed by someone who is neither wealthy enough to pay for care nor poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.
A Miller Trust, also known as a Qualified Income Trust, an Income Cap Trust, or an Income Assignment Trust, can be used to help lower the amount of income going to a nursing home patient so that he/she can qualify for Medicaid and at the same time provide money for the community spouse at home.
A Miller Trust can be a helpful tool to allow the applicant to qualify for Medicaid, but also to permit the spouse at home to retain a greater portion of the combined income. Thus, the elderly in this situation will likely not have to rely on their children or friends to help them financially during this difficult time.
A Miller Trust will not help everyone. An individual can still have too much income for the trust to work. The Trust is also considered a last resort with no other options available. An elder law attorney or an attorney experienced in Medicaid can answer questions about Miller Trusts and determine if this type of trust is a viable option for you.
This article is for informational purposes only. Nothing contained therein is intended to be, nor should be, taken for legal advice. Before you take any action, consult an attorney.