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Kristin Leah Burrows

Kristin Burrows’s Answers

2 total

  • Can I put grandmother's SSI (only income) into a Miller Trust so she can qualify for medicaid in North Carolina? Or spend down?

    93-year-old grandmother is currently on medicaid and medicare in FL in an assisted living. I need to move her to NC so she can be closer to me while I am in school. I wanted to apply for medicaid in North Carolina so I can get her into an assisted...

    Kristin’s Answer

    To follow-up on Gregory's answer, two other considerations are:
    1. Is your grandmother diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's? If so, she may qualify for a "Special Care Unit" at an assisted living facility, and the income cap to receive Special Assistance is higher - $1,561.
    2. Is your grandmother a widow of a veteran? If so, she may qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, which could provide up to $1,094 per month. Even with the VA benefit, though, her income may still not cover the cost of care at an assisted living facility, depending on the area to which you are relocating.

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  • Can a Trust or Will be changed if the person has been diagnosed with dementia?

    An elderly person has an accident requiring surgery and at that time is diagnosed with dementia. Several months later they have recovered from surgery and alertness is on the rebound. They would like to change their trust but can they?

    Kristin’s Answer

    Despite having dementia, a person can sometimes still have the capacity to make a Will or change a trust. That said, such a change is going to be more susceptible to challenge. Therefore, it is important that the circumstances of the meetings and the signing are well-documented. The attorney should meet with the elderly person alone to determine capacity and that the change is what the elderly person wants. Also, even if your state does not require it, it may be helpful to have witnesses present at the time the document is signed, to have the elderly person answer questions relevant to the document s/he is signing, and then have the witnesses write up their observations and the reasons they believe s/he had capacity and understood what s/he was signing. A doctor's statement, as mentioned by another poster, would be very helpful. Lastly, if any family members are affected, you could also consider a family agreement agreeing not to challenge the trust document.

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