Medical Assistance for People Who Are Age 65 or Older and People Who Are Blind or Have a Disability

2.3.3.2.7.9.2 Client-Funded Trusts

Client-funded trusts are trusts funded with the income and assets of the person and/or the person’s spouse. A client-funded trust must be evaluated for people with an asset limit to determine whether the trust can contribute toward the person’s health care needs.

Trust Characteristics

A client-funded trust must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Not established by will;

  • Funded with the assets or income of the person or the person’s spouse;

  • Established by one or more of the following; and:

    • The person

    • The person’s spouse

    • A person, including a court or administrative body, with legal authority to act in place of or on behalf of the person or the person’s spouse

    • A person including any court or administrative body, acting at the direction or upon the request of the person or the person’s spouse

  • Established on or after August 11, 1993.

Trust Funding

Who funds the trust determines how the assets held in the trust are analyzed for purposes of determining eligibility for Medical Assistance (MA).

Funded by the Person and/or Person’s Spouse

The assets in the trust are analyzed using the availability concepts applicable to revocable and irrevocable client-funded trusts.

Funded by the Person and Any Other Person

The portion of the trust funded with assets of the person or the person’s spouse are analyzed using the availability concepts applicable to revocable and irrevocable client-funded trusts.

The portion of the trust funded with assets of any other person is not analyzed using the availability concepts applicable to revocable and irrevocable client-funded trusts. The portion of the trust funded with assets of any other person is analyzed under the availability concepts applicable to third party established and funded trusts.

Trust Availability

The availability concepts applicable to client-funded trusts apply regardless of any of the following:

  • The purpose for which the trust was established

  • Whether the trustees have or exercise any discretion

    • A discretionary support analysis for a client-funded trust is unnecessary, as all client-funded trusts are available for purposes of determining eligibility, regardless of whether they are discretionary or support.

  • Any restrictions on when or if a distribution may be made from the trust

  • Any restrictions on the use of the distributions from the trust.

Any client-funded trust, which meets the basic definition of a trust, can be counted in determining eligibility for MA. How a specific trust is counted for eligibility purposes depends on the characteristics of the trust.

Revocable Client-Funded Trusts

A revocable trust is a trust that:

  • Can be revoked by the grantor

  • Provides that the trust can only be modified or terminated by a court

  • Is called irrevocable but contains language that allows it to terminate if some action is taken by the grantor

Trust Corpus

The entire trust corpus is counted as an available asset.

Distributions

Any payments from the trust to or for the benefit of the grantor is income to the grantor.

Irrevocable Client-Funded Trusts

An irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be revoked by the grantor in any way. Unless the terms of a trust expressly provide that the trust is revocable, the grantor may not revoke or amend the trust.

Trust Corpus

Any portion of the trust income or trust corpus that could be paid to or for the benefit of the beneficiary is counted as an available asset. 

Distributions

Payments from the trust income or trust corpus made to or for the benefit of the person are income to the person.

People Requesting MA for Long-Term Care Services

All irrevocable client-funded trusts created after July 1, 2005, are analyzed as Revocable Client-Funded Trusts if the person is requesting MA for Long-Term Care Services (LTC).

Client-Funded Trusts for People with a Disability

The availability concepts do not apply to trusts that meet the statutory requirements for Special Needs or Pooled Trusts. See the specific sections to evaluate the availability of assets held in a Special Needs Trust or Pooled Trust.

Legal Citations

Minnesota Statutes, section 501C.1206

Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.056, subdivision 3b

United States Code, title 42, section 1396p(d)