PRENEED PLANNING

SSI/Medicaid and Prepaid Funeral Arrangements

What are the benefits of prepaying a funeral prior to your eligibility for SSI or Medicaid?
Prepaying allows you to pay for the funeral of your choice before assets are used up for medical care and before assets are reduced to SSI or Medicaid eligibility levels.

What does the law allow?
Federal and State law permit you to pay in full for future arrangements by depositing funds into one properly established irrevocable account tied to a prepaid funeral contract. Such funds are considered excludable resources when SSI, Medicaid or General Assistance eligibility is determined.

Will your prepaid funeral arrangements qualify as an exemption?
If you prearrange a funeral through Funeral Planning CHOICES-New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund or Sure Trust, you can be sure the funeral arrangements qualify for the SSI/Medicaid exemption and are being provided by a properly registered funeral home. Opening an account with Funeral Planning CHOICES allows you to arrange the funeral of your (or your loved one's) choice, provided that:
the cost of the funeral is reasonable;
the account is irrevocable, meaning the money cannot be refunded nor can it be used for any purpose other than funeral cost.

What is an "Elder Law" Attorney?
Elder law is a growing legal specialty that deals with legal issues concerning older persons. Some of the issues Elder Law attorneys assist with include Medical "spend-down", probate and estate planning, guardianship/conservatorship, and health and long-term care planning. More specifically, they can assist with filing for public assistance benefits, and the preservation/transfer of assets to avoid spousal impoverishment.

For the name of an Elder Law Attorney in your area, call the New Jersey Bar Association or visit
www.njsba.com. You can also contact the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys at www.naela.org