man setting up prepaid funeral contract

Medicaid planning can be complicated but could be essential if you need long-term care at some point in your life. It’s important to plan ahead to protect your assets in the event that you one day need to qualify for Medicaid. The experienced Livingston County elder law and Medicaid planning lawyers at Estate Planning & Elder Care Firm of Michigan can help you with Medicaid planning. We can also advise you about purchasing a prepaid funeral contract as an eligible asset you can keep without impacting your eligibility for Medicaid.

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The Role of Medicaid Planning in Michigan Estate Planning

Medicaid planning can be a complex process, especially when it comes to protecting your home and other assets while also ensuring that your long-term care needs are met. It is essential to incorporate Medicaid planning into your overall estate plan in case you one day require long-term care in a nursing home and may need to qualify for Medicaid in order to cover the cost.

You are only allowed limited assets when trying to become eligible for Medicaid, but a prepaid funeral contract is an asset that you may be able to protect, assuming you purchase the right kind of contract. Our experienced elder law and Medicaid planning lawyers can advise you on the necessary steps to protect your prepaid funeral contract and other assets as part of your Medicaid planning strategy. We can also advise you on the steps you need to take when purchasing a prepaid funeral contract.

Understanding What a Prepaid Funeral Contract is in Michigan

A prepaid funeral contract is an arrangement made with a funeral home or provider in advance of death to cover funeral and burial expenses. This type of contract can allow you to make decisions about your funeral arrangements and pay for them beforehand, providing peace of mind for yourself and your family members.

Prepaid Funeral Contracts That Are Exempt Assets Under Medicaid Rules

Under Medicaid rules, certain assets are considered exempt when determining eligibility for benefits. Prepaid funeral contracts are among the exempt assets that Medicaid applicants may be able to protect. Specifically, a revocable contract for up to $1,500 for burial expenses and an irrevocable contract for other funeral expenses, such as a casket, headstone, and cremation, can be exempted from consideration when determining Medicaid eligibility.

Crucial Steps to Take Before Signing a Prepaid Funeral Contract

Before entering into a prepaid funeral contract, it’s important to ensure that your interests are protected and that it contains the provisions you want. Before entering into this type of contract, you should discuss your wishes, assets, and Medicaid planning concerns with experienced Michigan estate planning lawyers, such as our Macomb and Livingston County elder law attorneys. Other important steps to take include:

  • Check the funeral home's licensing. Verify that the funeral home or provider offering the prepaid funeral contract is licensed and reputable. Research their reputation and credentials to ensure they are trustworthy and capable of delivering the services promised and that no complaints have been filed against them.
  • Bring a checklist of what you want. Before meeting with the funeral home representative, create a checklist of your funeral preferences and wishes. This will help ensure you discuss all relevant options and make informed decisions about your funeral arrangements. It will also help you avoid buying a package of services you do not need.
  • Obtain a written itemization of costs. Request a written itemization of all costs associated with the prepaid funeral contract, including funeral services, burial or cremation expenses, and any additional fees or charges. Review the contract carefully to be certain that all agreed-upon services are included and that there are no hidden costs.
  • Determine where the money will be held. Inquire about how and where your prepaid funeral funds will be held until they are needed. They should be held in a secure and reputable financial account to protect them from misuse or mismanagement.

What to Do After Paying for a Prepaid Funeral Contract

Once you have paid for a prepaid funeral contract, it is important to take the following steps to ensure that your wishes are carried out and your assets are protected:

  • Tell your family members about your funeral plans and your prepaid funeral contract.
  • Give a copy of the prepaid funeral contract to someone you trust.
  • Store your original prepaid funeral contract with your important legal documents.

Additionally, if you enter a nursing home for long-term care, it’s also important to provide a copy of your prepaid funeral contract to the staff so that it will be in your records. This will help make things easier for your loved ones in the event of your death and ensure that your wishes are honored.

Contact Our Michigan Elder Law and Medicaid Planning Attorney

The earlier you begin planning for long-term care, the more options we will have to protect your assets while affording any care you might require. Please fill out our contact form by clicking the button below or call us at (888) 487-6150 to schedule a free strategy session to discuss your particular needs and goals.

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Consultations are available at our Howell or Clinton Township offices or anywhere in Michigan virtually.

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