We have $6000 in irrevocable life insurance at the funeral home. Can we add more? Can we add $4000 more from her savings to an irrevocable burial contract to spend down her savings. We have to use money for something to spend down to qualify.

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Does she own her home? If she does, one way would be to invest in the house by repairs, updates or upgrades. Whatever is put in the house stays in the family.
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She does however we would prefer to pay for the burial.
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We just did my mother's a few months ago and were told that they just changed some of the state limits last year
..I'm in Florida and we were one of the changes. Let me look for you!!
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What is the maximum amount a Funeral Trust can be written for?
The maximum policy amount on the high end is $15,000. However, most insurance companies may
impose lesser amounts (to stay in compliance with a States standard Medicaid practice)

Goods & Services - certain states Medicaid require a cost "justification" from a certified funeral
director. (One cannot just shelter $100,000 of cash away for a $3,500 cremation and pocket the balance!)

A funeral director verifies the costs for their services (listed in ILIT document) and typically charges
fee's of $85 to do so. There are "no" fees to establish an Irrevocable Funeral Trust, and the $85 fee
the Funeral Director charges for state compliance is a separate stand alone cost.

STATE LIMIT ($) = Updated 3/8/2013
Alabama (AL) $15,000.00 NEW - Goods & Service
Alaska (AK) $15,000.00 NEW
Arizona (AZ) $8,000 no (GS) $15,000 NEW - Goods & Service
Arkansas (AR) $15,000 NEW - Goods & Service
California (CA) $15,000
Colorado (CO) $15,000
Connecticut (CT) $5,400.00
Delaware (DE) $10,000.00
District of Columbia (DC) $15,000 NEW
Florida (FL) $15,000 NEW - Goods & Service
Georgia (GA) $10,000.00
Hawaii (HI) $15,000 NEW
Idaho (ID) $15,000 NEW
Illinois (IL) $5,703 no (GS) $15,000 NEW - Goods & Service
Indiana (IN) $10,000.00
Iowa (IA) $15,000 NEW
Kansas (KS) $5,000.00 NEW - Goods & Service
Kentucky (KY) $15,000 NEW
Louisiana (LA) $15,000 NEW
Maine (ME) ?
Maryland (MD) $15,000 NEW
Massachusetts (MA)$15,000 NEW
Michigan (MI) ?
Minnesota (MN) $15,000 NEW - Goods & Service
Mississippi (MS) $15,000 NEW
Missouri (MO) $15,000 NEW
Montana (MT) $15,000 NEW
Nebraska (NE) $12,500 NEW
Nevada (NV) $15,000 NEW - Goods & Service
New Hampshire (NH) $15,000 NEW - Goods & Service
New Jersey (NJ) $15,000 NEW
New Mexico (NM) $15,000 NEW
New York (NY) ?
North Carolina (NC) $10,000.00
North Dakota (ND) $6,000 NEW
Ohio (OH) $15,000 NEW
Oklahoma (OK) $10,000 NEW
Oregon (OR) $15,000 NEW
Pennsylvania (PA) $15,000 NEW
Rhode Island (RI) $15,000 NEW
South Carolina (SC) $15,000 NEW
South Dakota (SD) $15,000 NEW
Tennessee (TN) $6,000.00 NEW - Goods & Service
Texas (TX) $15,000 NEW
Utah (UT) $7,000.00
Vermont (VT) $12,500 NEW
Virginia (VA) $15,000 NEW
Washington (WA) $15,000 NEW
West Virginia (WV) $4,000.00 NEW - Goods & Service
Wisconsin (WI) $15,000.00 NEW
Wyoming (WY) $15,000.00 NEW
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The funeral home director said that my mother's funeral expenses for the things she wants is 27,000 including travel expenses for family. She is spending down to get onto institutional medicaid in NM. If all of the money is not spent for the expenses do the beneficiaries get that money or does it go to medicaid? If so how do they not what the expenses are in the end?
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The maximum amount she can shelter from NM medicaid is $15,000. All other money will go the the State to pay for her care. If she uses medicaid the beneficiaries will get nothing. We are going through this same thing with my mother in law in the state of Illinois. Good luck and be fully open and honest with the medicaid investigators. They will look back approx. 5 years from the date of application for medicaid..
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We are planning my mother's memorial service right now, using the money she set aside for the purpose before we went on Medicaid.

Only "usual and reasonable" expenses are covered. In this state that EXCLUDES travel expenses for persons attending the service, and food. It includes burial or cremation, one or more cremation urns, the cost of the funeral home or other venue, music, printed programs, a speaker or MC etc.

In our family food is a big part of the celebration of life, and we will be paying for that outside of the funeral trust.

Anything we don't spend on usual and reasonable expenses will go back to the state. We are fine with that, and we are trying to spend every last penny. When the state gets it, it will benefit other persons who need Medicaid. Fine by us.

juliavinson, do you really want to (would your mother want) to spend $10,000 on her final services? If so, this is a quick way to do it. If not, spend the money on a comfortable wardrobe, a new coat, good shoes, extra glasses, a deluxe wheelchair, etc. Anything that will benefit her.
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simpson, it does not look like you can spend down $27,000 on a funeral account in NM. $15,000 is the limit. Anything over and above that would have to be paid by survivors, if they want to add another $12,000 to the pot.

If Mother puts aside $15,000 and the final service uses $12,000, the remaining $3,000 will go to the state Medicaid program.

There are probably things in that $27,000 plan that the trust cannot be used for. You'd either have to drop them or pay for them separately.

When my grandmother was in her 90s and on medical assistance (long before Medicaid) she worried about being buried in a pauper's grave. She didn't care about a ceremony, but she didn't want her burial to be a burden to anyone.

Medicaid very humanely allows applicants to set aside funds for this purpose and relieve their minds of the worry of being a "burden." But each state also sets limits regarding this. The philosophy seems to be that someone who has been receiving public tax money for their care should not have protected money for an unusually lavish funeral/memorial service.
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Ooops ... we are really NOT trying to spend every penny!
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