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September 30

Case Study

Written by Thomas Upchurch

In February 2011, Ann contacted us about her mother, Judy, a long time estate planning client of Upchurch Law. She informed us her mom had recently been hospitalized and was now in a nursing home. Her prognosis was less than favorable for her to return home. Ann’s mom was still competent and therefore able to discuss and understand her affairs. As a result, we scheduled a meeting between ourselves, Ann and her mother. They were interested in learning more about Medicaid, but were unsure if Judy would qualify.

Upon meeting with Ann and her mother, we discussed some of the hurdles Judy faced to qualify for Medicaid. Ann’s mom was a widow and had assets in excess of the $2,000 limit. She also had income in excess of the income cap of $2,022. In order for Ann’s mom to qualify for Medicaid, she was going to need to spend down her assets. Ann was her mom’s power of attorney and had taken on the role of seeing after her mom’s affairs.

Therefore, we crafted a personal services contract which enabled Ann’s mom to hire and pay Ann for her efforts without jeopardizing her ability to qualify for Medicaid in the near future.

As a result Ann’s mom was able to reduce her assets below the asset limit while retaining Ann as her care giver for the balance of her lifetime. In addition to the personal services contract, we also drafted a qualified income trust based on Florida law. The qualified income trust enabled Ann’s mom to divert some of her income so she would no longer be over the monthly income cap.

Within six weeks of meeting with Ann and her mother, Judy had been qualified for Medicaid benefits and had the reassurance that her daughter was going to be able to assist her in her everyday affairs going forward.
If you would like to learn more about personal services contracts or qualified income trusts in Florida, please contact us.