No one wants to pay any more than they have to. That goes double for when you’re older and you’re balancing living on a budget but also have an eye towards leaving a little something for your heirs so that they’re not stuck footing the bill for your passing. Figuring out how to do both of those while trying to meet the requirements for Medicaid can be tricky.
That’s where I come in.
A burial account is exactly what it sounds like. It is money set aside by you so that your family will have the funds needed to buy a casket, purchase a cemetery plot, pay the mortician and other costs associated with your passing. This is the last—and some say best—gift that one can leave behind, peace of mind. While your family is mourning their loss, they won’t have to worry about the cost of what encompasses a proper burial.
Burial accounts can be set up by simply going to the bank and requesting to open a basic savings account. If the bank allows you to name the account, name it: “Burial Account”. If you cannot name the account that particular name, that is ok. All you have to do is report it to Medicaid as a burial account, and they will send you back a form. From there you will sign it, indicating that you understand that you cannot spend the money in the account on anything except your burial.
Setting up a burial account is one of the most frequent recommendations my firm makes when advising elder law clients looking to preserve some of their assets while hoping to qualify for Medicaid coverage. Medicaid regulations, known as MassHealth in Massachusetts and Medical Assistance in New Hampshire, allows for a Medicaid applicant to have up to $1,500.00 in a “Burial Account.”
Funds within a burial account will be considered exempt assets and will not be counted when applying for Medicaid. Not only is it a smart way to spend down your assets, but it is a great way to preserve some money that your family will need one day to pay for your burial.
Of all the long-term care planning suggestions my firm suggests, this is one of the easiest, and frequently overlooked, aspects when applying for Medicaid.
If you have more complex issues or would like someone to assist you in qualifying for Medicaid, please contact our office at (978) 269-4485 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.