Yes, you need a qualifying income trust in Oklahoma if your income is above the limit and prevents you from qualifying for Medicaid benefits. Qualifying income trusts are also referred to as Miller trusts.
Do I Really Need A Qualifying Income Trust In Oklahoma?
In some states, you can spend down the income that you have that is above Medicaid’s limit on specified expenses and be able to qualify for Medicaid’s benefits. Oklahoma is one of the states where you cannot spend down your excess income, but you can put the amount that is above the limit in a qualifying income trust (QIT).
However, you cannot put surplus assets in a qualifying income trust in Oklahoma. Also, there is a maximum amount you can put in a Miller trust. In 2019, the value of the highest amount you can deposit every month in your trust was $4,585.
When Medicaid applicants put their excess income in a Miller trust, it ceases to be considered disposable income and they qualify for Medicaid benefits. However, when you place income in the trust, you can still use it to pay for expenses. For instance, if all the applicant’s income goes to the trust, they can be paid a personal needs allowance; this is determined based on various factors.
Also, if the Medicaid beneficiary has a spouse who does not have an income, the healthy partner is entitled to receive a monthly maintenance needs allowance from the trust. This allowance prevents the non-applicant spouse from being unable to support themselves. The amount they receive is dependent on circumstances, but the maximum payable to a spouse in all states as of 2019 is $3,160.50. Medical bills of an applicant not covered by Medicaid can also be paid for from the trust.
How Do QITs Work?
An applicant for Medicaid’s benefits is expected to allocate the amount of their monthly income that disqualifies them from being a beneficiary of Medicaid into a trust. The state of Oklahoma is the beneficiary of the trust established. The QIT is irrevocable under all circumstances.
A trust document is drawn up and a bank account set up to create a Miller trust. A grantor or settlor does the setting up. The grantor can be a person with power of attorney, the Medicaid applicant, or their guardian. You will also name a trustee who can be anyone else, such as a relative, but it cannot be the Medicaid applicant.
Deposits are made each month into the trust from the income of the applicant. The state of Oklahoma requires the entire amount of income from a single source to be deposited in the trust. This is a requirement in all states nationwide.
However, Oklahoma does not expect a beneficiary of Medicaid to put all their income in the trust as some other states do. If the applicant has another source of income, they can keep it. All such income deposited in the trust becomes exempt and does not contribute to the amount considered when applying for Medicaid benefits.
Is Professional Help Required To Set Up A Miller Trust Or QIT?
It should not be complicated to establish a Miller fund if you require one. However, it would be highly recommended that you book a free consultation with a trust attorney in Tulsa, OK to help with the establishment of one.
Oklahoma has set up some rules surrounding Miller trusts, and only an expert will have sufficient information on them. Also, if you do not establish and fund the QIT correctly, it will defeat its purpose and you will be disqualified. Also, in cases where an applicant has a spouse, calculations can get complicated.
Contact An Experienced Trust Attorney In Tulsa
We are Tulsa trust attorneys with the experience and knowledge necessary to assist you with the establishment of your Medicaid asset protection trust in Oklahoma. Even if you do not think you will need long-term care, it is a good idea to preserve your assets now.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation about the best approach to protecting your property. Call 918-876-4500 to schedule your free consultation.
Oklahoma Will and Trust is conveniently located at 201 West Fifth Street, Suite 404 in Tulsa.