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My title says it all.....have tried low cost attys legal aid etc. Don't qualify, yet we are still on a very limited fixed income. Called regular elder law attys and you cannot even breathe in their same space for less than $2400.00 (for a will and income trust.) Where does one turn? (State of FL) We have done DPOA MPOA etc via online forms and notary which has worked well, but Income trust and all that is over my head. HELP

Another name for Miller trust is QIT. Qualified Income Trust. Depends on state.
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Reply to Segoline
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Cherry - so it’s that your Hubs needs is a Miller Trust to be done. Miller - just so you know - is not allowed at all in some states. So for folks in those states a penny over income max allowed takes them off Medicaid and they have to go the pooled asset trust system which is oodles more complicated. So that he can do a Miller in Florida is fortunate.

Almost all the Miller Trust situations, I’ve read about on this forum, have all been doing a Miller for a person entering a NH and needing to be eligible for LTC in a facility Medicaid. The Miller is set up at a bank or credit union by a Trustee (spouse or DPOA) for the settlor under settlors SS# and then Miller basically gets all their monthly income direct deposited into this account; and in turn this account pays the NH all with the exception of the small allowance which NH sets aside in a personal needs Trust account. The beneficiary of Miller must be the state (not your or other heirs); and in theory all $ is paid out each month. Usually there will be specific banks who do Miller and the state has a set template as to how Miller has to be done. Kinda like some banks are designated partners for SBA loans or for ABLE accounts (for those disabled for their lifetime before age 26).

But your situation is more complex as you are a community spouse and he’s getting community based Medicaid but over the income limit. Your income does not count for his Medicaid eligibility. But if your income alone does cover your household costs then you can get some of his income waived so instead of all going into the Miller a part of it goes to you. The state will have a set figure that is the CSRA or MMNA - which is the resource allowance that the spouse can get. And here is where having an atty comes in as they should be able to review your situation to come up with the max CSRA/MMNA for you so that it is the least amount of $ monthly income that must go into Miller each month. Unfortunately it’s to me, not ever a DIY, but needs an atty who is experienced with Miller Trust when there is a couple living in the community situation to maximize his income waived to instead be used to pay for in-home care. I’m not sure about this but I don’t think he can pay you - as his wife - to be his caregiver; spouses can’t be paid, but he can hire caregiver from an agency or pay other family to caregive

Im going to guess than when you’ve called law offices, you’ve asked about setting up a Miller Trust..... and they hear “Trusts” and those usually involve real $$$, real assets that are invested & need oversight, so you have atty, financial advisors, CPA, tax pros all involved in getting Trust done. Your getting prices based on real Trusts.
A Miller is not at all that type of trust.

I’d suggest you call or email several atty and specifically state the details of your situation, with his income and yours listed and that it’s a living in the community situation that this Miller with be dealing with.

There are very very good articles on this site by Gabriel Heiser and Ralph Robbins as to what Miller can do. Excellent articles. Great insight. I think Robbins is based in Florida, so perhaps contact him.
good luck.
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Cherrysoda Jan 14, 2019
Very helpful reply. We are NOT married and have been together 21 years. I just call him husband as well...after 21 years. We DO have a caregiver agreement where, on paper anyhow he pays me a stupid amount of money, that I never see of course, its just fiction.

But short of REGULAR banking (no we do not have assets at all and all that-just what we get each month, for him its SSI and his VA disability and for me its SSD and I cannot cover all household expenses on my income alone.) Its beyond me to go the DIY route. I did mention it while recently in the bank to the banker and her eyes glazed. In FL the income allowed for medicaid is 2250 per month, anything over that has to be put into this MILLERS TRUST and then paid out to a caregiver (me). He WAS getting UNDER that amount till they upped his VA disability rating, that put his income OVER it. I IMMEDIATELY faxed this info to the State of Fl saying he is OVER the limit, not wanting to have either of us accused of fraud. But they did not take his medicaid away. Then a home care nurse told me I was stupid to have alerted them, she said to just ride it out, if they are giving, just take it-and she sees a LOT of a medicaid pts.. Its all nuts because we have a joint account and then I have my own checking and savings and for me, and just the way I work, I leave what I need to leave in our joint account for some automatic bills payments (like life insurance) and then I fill up his cash debit card, so he never is without pocket money and so he can buy things he likes-like a tv subscription without hurting our bank accounts (he has NO concept of managing money/bill paying/credit etc. all that left with his illness) and then I move the rest to my account to be combined with my income and that's how I pay the big chunk of our bills...ALL OF THEM. Most all our bills, no matter whose name they are officially in, are paid from there. It just makes my life much saner and its the way I've done it for years. I also put some in savings as part of his illness (dementia) was totally TRASHING our finances and losing our home-we ended up in a bleep hole MOTEL and me on FACEBOOK begging friends to gofundme so we could get an apt. So though not much, I try to make sure we have that fall back money, in case of a vet bill or needed uber ride and also trying to BUY a home again where its more set up for a live in caregiver with his VA option. Im trying to fix his credit and mine after his stunt (illness/dementia) Not sure he will live that long so thats an up in the air thing. We rent a home now. It's been a real rough road, at that time of finding myself without anything, I mean I was taken from my home with the clothes on my back, lost a LIFETIME of things, from furniture to livestock to all those treasured memories of junk that we collect and inherit over the years, I did not know he had dementia, I just knew something was VERY VERY VERY VERY wrong with him and I became the person to run around and put out fires and get us back on our feet. And of course the VA and their doctors..thats another rant.

I have called no less than 4 attys, family law, and the breath in their face price starts at 2400 and that is for just a Millers Trust. They do understand what I need. This is beyond a DIY project as mentioned, even with no real assets. I guess, we do what the rest of the poor do, and just do nothing and hope for the best. He has social workers at the VA, but they change them like socks and of course NO ONE will help. I will keep reading, no idea what more I can do, Im flat exhausted caring for him and now if I am expected to be an accountant who keeps nickle and dime ledgers, that just too much over the top for me. Anyone (who would need to) can look at our bank statements to see how we spend our money. We are bare bones.

Thank You for all the replys and links-exploring them as I have had NO LUCK with cold calling attys from google/FL bar etc.
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Go here.

www.naela.org/findlawyer
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Reply to Segoline
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Attorneys don't typically charge 1000s per hour unless they are high profile criminal attorneys.

If that is what you are being quoted you should interview other attorneys. www.nefl.com can help you find a NELA certified elder law attorney in your area. If an attorney won't give you a free consultation to determine if you are a good fit and want to hire them, don't go, keep calling until you find ones that offer this. It is standard that you get a free consultation. I would also encourage you to use a large firm. One man shows tend to be more expensive.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Contact your local or state bar Association. They cannot make recommendations for a specific attorney, but might be able to give you some direction. Ask the attorney if you can make payments.
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Cherrysoda, yes attorney fees can be expensive, and one has to remember the extra years in college to obtain that law degree. Lawyers have mega costs with overhead, Staff to pay, and Mal-practice insurance, etc. Some work in huge law firms, others are an one-person office with maybe a para-legal.

I used an "Elder Law Attorney" from a large firm. To help cut the cost to the client, some of the paperwork can be prepared by the para-legals at a lower hourly cost. The Attorney will review what the para-legal had completed before passing it over to the client.

With regard to on-line legal forms, one has be to very careful. One misplaced word, or one missing word can create the Power of Attorney to read differently, not what you had attended. Same with on-line Wills.

It all depends on what type of assets are involved. If a person has a large stock portfolio and/or owns a lot of homes as investments, then an Attorney would be the best to handle this complex matter.

Many decades ago I worked in a law office, and I wouldn't even think of writing up my own Will, or Power of Attorney. I left it to those Attorneys who specialized in such matters.

My parents had used their real estate attorney to draw up their Will. Once I got my hands on that Will, I quickly used a "theraputic fibs" to get my very elderly parents to see an "Elder Law Attorney", by telling Dad that the Will was too old and laws had changed, the Commonwealth would get half of his assets. I know it was a fib, but it worked. Plus the old Will was a landmine the way it was written. Before I knew it, my folks were sitting with an Elder Law Attorney I had recommended. Whew !!
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PS and I have to note he wishes to stay at home till the end, and he has dementia, and I am finding this VERY TRYING and need HELP in here. Not enough just me, with no family or no friends to go around. And I do EVERYTHING.
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Reply to Cherrysoda
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So what it comes down to is to get an atty that charges $1000's per hour is for the rich only. That ultimately harms and KILLS the poor. A good form of genocide I guess. When I pay the lawn boy 30.00 for mowing on a super hot day, I feel like he is seriously being underpaid and when I can, I find more to give him. To speak to an atty for a couple of forms and an hour's worth of advice, and it costs $2500.00 there is a problem. Lawn boy is working MUCH HARDER and with much more sincere effort.

Can we afford to pay something? Yes. That something is along the lines of $100-$200 for a one time get it all done visit.

What do we need it for? The Qualified income trust or Miller's trust as it is known, is to keep the state from taking away funds, (his retirement and disibility earnings) and still keeping my DH on medicaid. I am just finishing up knocking down a round of last years medical bills, partially in thanks to charity. He was awarded mediCAID in the middle of the year as well as an UP rating in his VA benefits the SAME MONTH-which should be a happy thing, but its now a VERY SCARY thing. That puts him over the cap of 2250 per month. I let the state know IMMEDIATELY but apparently they have left him on MediCAID for this year as well. He now has a great insurance plan due to MediCAID and can get away from the MOST EVIL VA. (he is a veteran and nope they don't help with legal) My fear is, that they will swoop in at some point and say, YOU OWE US MONEY and then take from him. If the money is in this TRUST, then the state is happy, he pays me (or whomever) as caregiver and still gets his money through a back door so to speak. This is the way it works for ALFs and NHs too, except the STATE takes the money, not the caregiver and the pt. gets to stay on MediCAID.

BUT it takes an atty to set this up. SIGH.
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Reply to Cherrysoda
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If you really have no assets and very limited income, you may not need a trust. Why do you want one?
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Reply to Marcia7321
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Yes I hear what you’re saying as attorney fees are exhorbitant but unfortunately it is what it is.

It may be difficult to afford but when you find a good attorney they often end up saving you money by guiding you and helping you avoid mistakes that can end up being quite costly.

Do as much leg work as you can before hiring one. That will decrease the billable hours. Limit the time you need to call them with any questions or concerns until those calls are absolutely necessary.

But mostly every attorney will require money up front on your issue as well as divorce attorneys, criminal attorneys, etc.

When you need an attorney that is the cost. They’re in business too with families to support,staff to pay and all the other costs of a small business on their shoulders. They may be paying off their school loans still.

That’s the way it is if you’ve exhausted the legal aid route etc. You are paying for their expertise.
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