What happens if the Medicaid applicant receives an unexpected inheritance?
Effect of an Inheritance and Medicaid
Because inheritance funds get counted as an individual’s monthly income, it’s important to consider the strict financial requirements for Medicaid eligibility.
According to the American Council on Aging, the 2022 Medicaid eligibility rules state a single individual 65 years or older cannot have a monthly income greater than $2,523.
For married couples with both spouses as Medicaid applicants, each spouse would be allowed $2,523 each for a total of $5,046 a month.
Inform the Right People
First of all, check with an attorney specializing in elder law with any questions about state inheritance laws and applicable state Medicaid requirements. Then start planning for how to best use the inheritance funds.
For starters, put the inheritance funds towards your monthly expenses first, including any medical or nursing home payments. Next, use the funds to address any outstanding debts or balances. Then consider upcoming expenses such as funeral and burial requirements. In accordance with the inheritance laws in your state, look to see if you can gift the remaining inheritance to your spouse or other family members. It’s possible to set up a trust in a grandchild’s name, for example, or maybe use the funds to address a longstanding medical bill of another family member.
Of course, you can also look into using the inheritance funds to travel or some other form of entertainment, but it’s best to address the big expenses first.