What the Heck is a Miller Trust?

What Its For: The Miller is a very specialized trust. The only people need these trusts are those who are trying to qualify for Medicaid benefits for nursing home care and whose income each month exceeds $2,130 or whatever the income cap is in a particular year. Without the Miller Trust, a person with more than $2130 in monthly income will not qualify for Medicaid. (This dollar amount is changed from time to time. Usually it increases for inflation.)

Basic Operation: The Miller Trust is also called a Qualified Income Trust or a QIT. The trust document allows the Trustee to set up an account for the beneficiary (who is the person seeking Medicaid). The Trustee must transfer the beneficiary’s monthly income into the Miller Trust each month, and then make payments as required on behalf of the beneficiary.

Setting Up the Trust: In order to set-up and operate the Miller Trust, the Trustee must know the income and the expenses of the beneficiary. The Trustee needs to make the right payments as required by the Miller Trust and the beneficiary’s circumstances. The Trustee need a trust document, control of the beneficiary’s income, knowledge of how much needs to paid to the nursing home, the beneficiary, the spouse (if applicable), etc. to meet Medicaid’s requirements.

The Elder Law Attorney’s Role: An attorney will draft the document, analyze the income situation, advise on how to set the account up, and make payments to achieve eligibility.