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If you have a senior spouse or other loved one as a beneficiary in your Florida will, you could inadvertently make them ineligible for government programs, such as Medicaid. We often assist clients in creating special needs trusts that help loved ones maintain eligibility without losing the benefits of their inheritance.

According to the American Council on Aging, Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts protect your assets while still allowing a beneficiary to remain eligible for Medicaid and other government benefits. Due to the special needs trust requirements, the contents within it are no longer owned by the applicant. This allows them to qualify for and receive the care they need, either at home or in a full-time care facility.

Why are MAPTs important?

Long-term medical care is expensive. In many cases, an elderly individual has more resources than Medicaid allows, yet not enough to pay for those expenses. Although your loved one may have exempt assets, such as a car, home and jewelry, non-exempt assets may still make them ineligible for the help Medicaid provides. When the excess resources are part of a planning strategy, such as a special needs trust, your elderly beneficiary can qualify and receive the necessary care.

 What can you place in a MAPT?

You can place a home you own into the MAPT and still live in it. The trust can even sell it and buy another if needed. Other assets eligible for these trusts include the following:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • CDs
  • Mutual funds
  • Stocks and bonds

There are different types of special needs trusts. Some protect eligibility for government programs, while others do not. It is critical that you understand your options use the right financial instruments for your estate planning needs.