Alabama Family Trust has long-term relationships with representatives of patients with special needs trusts, so we can share some insights that may help your patients who need skilled nursing care.  By recommending Alabama Family Trust, your staff may improve your patients’ quality of life and your revenues, too.

Dana Zimbleman of Colorado served as representative for the special needs trust set managed by Alabama Family Trust to care for her mother, Iva Posey, here in Alabama for years. Dana graciously agreed  to share her experience with others who have elderly loved ones. 

The full story can be shared with your new or prospective patients and their families.
Read Full Story
"My family's situation is probably a cautionary tale to others about what happens if you are middle class and do not plan adequately for the possibility that you may end up in custodial care during your final years."
Insight #1:  Prepare your clients and their families in advance
Dana Zimbleman shared that her “mother’s decline was a long, gradual process, but the critical crisis came very rapidly.” Alabama Family Trust recognizes that skilled nursing care facilities often are pulled in only when there is a crisis, but realize that special needs trusts can still be set up after a patient is admitted to your care.  The patient or family may have to be private pay for a few months until the trust is in place.
Dana’s 20/20 hindsight: “Our parents should have planned more carefully. They had wills and had arranged their funerals, which was a great relief to us. Yet they tried to hang on to their assets for too long without ensuring their final wishes could be granted. They did not mean to leave my sister and me without an inheritance. On the other hand, they were too proud to relinquish control to us.”
Insight #2:  Ask your patients and their families if they have considered a special needs trust
Dana Zimbleman’s saga is a great reference to share with your patients and their families to reinforce how the benefits of a special needs trust complement Medicaid entitlements. She referenced these items that Medicaid would NOT pay for, but the Trust did:
  • Private room in skilled nursing facility
  • Clothes
  • iPhone, cable TV
  • Beauty parlor services
  • Professional advice for Dana and her sister to handle her mother’s affairs well
  • Care management services
  • Travel for the two sisters to take care of their mother
  • [and don’t forget pre-need funeral and burial arrangements]
“As bad as our situation was, I am so happy that I got good legal advice and was able to use Mother’s money for her rather than impoverish her completely to receive basic Medicaid-level nursing home care.”
Insight #3: “Medicaid rules were confusing, hard to follow, and exasperating!”
Even though a special needs trust can be set up and managed without an attorney or management services, it is much easier for representatives to depend on someone with experience.  There’s no “do over” with Medicaid.  Dana Zimbleman took full advantage of Alabama Family Trust’s expertise in interpreting Medicaid’s rules for what the first-party special needs trust could fund even though her mother's care was private pay until the trust was in place.
“If I had followed Medicaid’s spend-down requirement, Mother would have received no extra benefits at the nursing home even though she had actually invested in her care. At those [nursing home] prices, I would have depleted my parents’ entire life savings in about three years.”
Insight #4:  Strongly encourage your patients to talk to their families about their long-term care and financial situations
Help your patients work through the issues of autonomy, control, and fear of being suckered.
“Children should find a diplomatic way to broach these matters with their aging parents. It’s better to hire a legal professional who understands the laws and can help families make use of their own assets through trusts like those Alabama Family Trust offers; the money for the attorney is well spent in the long run.”
“On the bright side, Mother was able to live with more comfort and dignity than she would have if I had not learned of the trust program at Alabama Family Trust.
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Direct: 205-313-3915  |   Toll-free: 1-844-238-4630
2820 Columbiana Road, Suite 103 Vestavia Hills, AL 35216

The Alabama Family Trust staff is working remotely due to the pandemic, but we are available with only a phone call or email.

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