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Should I go to an Elder Care Lawyer or a Financial Planner or a Funeral Home?

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There are two primary ways to "pre-fund" funeral costs prior to public benefit application:
Pay cash in advance or purchase life insurance to fund services.
The reason an Irrevocable Trust is used in either instance is that the value of the purchase may be considered a countable asset (particularly life insurance cash values above a certain amount).
You may arrange for this through all three of the above (elder law attorneys will generally refer out unless they are insurance licensed and offer an insurance product).
I generally recommend that my clients go to the funeral home of their choice. In almost all instances, if this not the home that is eventually used, benefits will be transferable.
Many funeral homes offer prepaid services or insurance funded plans.
They will be able to make the arrangements "irrevocable".
Note that in virtually all states it is also possible to fund a "burial account" in addition to the irrevocable funeral trust.
This should be established as a bank account titled "John Doe Burial Account" owned by the applicant. The account should have a POA and a named beneficiary (Payable on Death or Transfer on Death).
The maximum amount that can be held in the account is $2,500. This is in addition to the $2,000 asset limitation for Medicaid applicants.
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I thought it would be difficult but it was actually very easy and a huge relief. I went to a Funeral home of my choice, told them what I needed and the rest is history. Not so much help with the banks, all I got was duuhhh looks, one person asking the next and next. I'm very happy with the Funeral Home choice.
Best wishes to you.
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The Answer is Yes! The amounts vary by State and in PA by county. Once one applies for Medicaid it is too late!, leaving family to pay for burial. When folks are looking Medicaid in the face, it is best to plan ahead. There is NO cost to purchase the trust, However the value of the trust is paid up front. (Complies with Medicaid spend down) On many of the trusts purchased in advance there is a slight gain in value yearly, (more than a CD) Even in best laid plans; one may not desire or be able to have services at a specific Funeral Home, The Funeral Trust is portable to any location in all states, and monies are paid to the Funeral Home, with "overs" to the estate. Funds are available to the Funeral home usually by the next day and are guaranteed.
Purchasing the Trust via an agent, in contrast to a Funeral Home avoids many unforeseen complications, or even obstructions by a ( some) funeral salesperson Additionally one can inquire at will about service pricing without the funeral home being aware of the amount of 'ready money'

Additionally other family members may be protected out of a higher spend down amount, qualifying the person for medicaid, and relieving additional family burdens.
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If Dad is living in PA, and applying for Medicaid there then the (irrevocable) Funeral trust must be written in PA. In PA it varies by county;( the amount you can set aside and be INSTANTLY Medicaid exempt), some counties may allow more than $10,000.

The answer by pamstegman is well intended but in error.
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I went to the funeral home and they set me up. I have to say I am relieved to have these arrangements already made so I don't have to think about it when the time comes. Much less stressful to do this under "normal circumstances" rather than why you are grieving.
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When I pre-planned my mothers funeral before filing for Medicaid the funeral home set it all up for me. Very easy and it worked very smooth when the time came to use it.
Blessings,
Bridget
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Can I put $10,000.00 into a insurance irrevocable funeral trust just before applying for Medicaid?
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I need to set up an irrevocable burial trust for my dad. He is in a long term care facility in PA, but will be buried in Chicago, IL. Is there a difference in the amount I put into the trust for PA vs IL? He will apply for state aid in PA. How do I find out the amount to put in, as funerals in Chicago are more costly than in PA? Help!
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Medicaid does not allow much in a funeral fund, only $1500.
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