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Medicaid Planning

Personal Care Agreement

The personal care agreement is a contract with a family member who agrees to be a caregiver for another family member who is disabled or growing to old to care for themselves any more. In most cases we see these types of contract between an elder parent and their adult child. Sometimes a personal care agreement is also with other relatives not in the immediate family.

A personal care agreement defines what the caregiver will be expected to do for a specific period of time and for what compensation. A document like this if very useful to a family as it will help avoid arguments over money and what exactly is suppose to be done for that money. We highly recommend that all family members talk about what should be included in this document so everyone is in agreement and avoids later family conflicts.

Every member of your family should fully understand that a personal care agreement is a legally binding document. This document is especially helpful when the person being cared for pass away and suddenly the caregiver expects large compensation for their period of service. This could potentially lead to family fights and legal battles down the road.

Personal care agreement requirements:

  • This agreement must be in writing.
  • The payment in the agreement will be only for any future care that is provided to the family member.
  • Compensation due to the care person must be within a reasonable amount. Generally, this amount should not be more that what a company would charge to provide home care services if you had to hire someone that was not a relative.

Personal care agreement should contain the following:

  • Description of all care services that will be provided including: driving client to appointments, preparing meals, shopping, adult care services and other tasks
  • Date the care is to begin.
  • Total days per week worked along with hours worked per day.
  • What will the caregiver be paid and how often will this payment be made.
  • What is the length of time that these services will be provided i.e.: one year, multiple years or until the person passes away.
  • Terms of which this agreement can be altered if needed at a later time.
  • Where the caregiver services will be provided.
  • Finally, all signatures of the family members and caregiver who are involved in the agreement.

In summary the personal care agreement should fully outline all requirements and compensation of the caregiver job. Make sure all family member fully understand what is expected of the personal care giver and what the compensation will be. Avoid future costly legal battles and family misunderstandings by having our attorneys draft a personal care agreement for your love one’s care.

Medicaid Qualified Income Trust (Miller Trust)

Qualified Income Trusts can be set up for Medicaid applicants in the state of Florida. The Qualified Income Trust is also known as a Miller Trust which is an irrevocable trust. These trusts are useful to Medicaid applicants that have too much income to qualify for Medicaid but don’t have enough money to be able to afford nursing home care. If you are on Medicaid, make more than $2,199 and want to be eligible for long-term nursing home care benefits you will need to prepare a Qualified Income Trust.

When you have a Qualified Income Trust set up, any income beyond the set limits is transferred to the trust. You will need to designate a trustee to administer the trust. In Florida, after someone has been approved for Medicaid, they will be able to keep $105 per month and then be able to give some of their income to their spouse. The spouse’s income must be below $1,966.25 per month to qualify and the patient must pay a fixed amount towards their nursing home care costs. Any extra funds in the patient’s account at the time of their death will go to pay back Medicaid.

Rules for directing money into a qualified income trust:

  • Your account should be opened with a zero dollar balance. There could be a minimum deposit required by some banks.
  • You are only allow to deposit money from the applicants income.
  • There is other income which in not allowed to be put in the trust. This income could include VA pensions, annuity payments, income tax refunds, VA aid and vocational rehabilitation.

Setting up a Qualified Income Trust should be handled by a qualified attorney to make sure that you don’t make any mistakes that might come back to haunt you. Make sure you know all the Medicaid qualifying laws. Contact us today to get started.