Guardianship News:

Beware the Medicaid pooled trust scam

"Justice" for sale "Justice" for sale

One way that predatory guardians and their lawyers make sure their outrageous fees get paid is to avoid paying legitimate medical care costs during the lifetime of their Ward. This scam involves the creation of something called the Medicare pooled trust which in essence allows a person with some assets to receive State Medicaid benefits (at the expense of state taxpayers) even though that person would not actually qualify for Medicaid benefits by virtue of their level of assets being too high. By shuffling a few papers around, the miscreants apply for Medicaid benefits for the Ward. Those taxpayer Medicaid dollars will then cover nursing home and other essential medical expenses during the remaining lifetime of the Ward.

Medicaid which has shelled out big bucks during the lifetime of the Ward expects to be repaid the full amount that they expended on the Ward some time after they pass away with funds in the estate or collected by cashing in of life insurance policies or inheritances or other sources.

Under normal circumstances where there is no guardianship racket involved, it’s a nice mechanism for someone to receive help with their medical bills even though they are not poor enough to normally qualify for Medicaid. But in the hands of the miscreants, it is a tool to assure that their fees will be paid with the last dime in the wards account. Even public guardians use this trick because they’re not allowed to bill during the lifetime of the Ward. Instead they save up all their bills and ask for payment from the wards assets if any exist before having to settle up with Medicaid. Typically in this scam there is nothing left of a ward’s assets because it’s been emptied out in fees approved by the court within 30 days of the wards passing. By the time Medicaid finds out about the death and tries to recoup their outlays there is nothing left to repay Medicaid and Medicaid and the taxpayers get stiffed sometimes for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars. And there is nothing they can do about it under current law.

This can be particularly painful when family members wish to make final arrangements or take advantage of the statutes in the number of states which guarantee that funeral expenses up to $6000 will be granted to the family who wishes to have the family service for their loved ones. In the scam, families are told that no money is available for funerals and that generic burials, paupers graves, government burials are the only options available notwithstanding religious preference or even prepaid funeral arrangements.

These activities are all driven by the primary overarching goal of the guardianship racket which is to extract every conceivable dollar from a ward’s existing estate or any other source of benefits including Social Security, veterans pensions, company pensions, life insurance or every or any other source during their lifetime and direct that money from legitimate downstream inheritors and family members into their own endlessly deep pockets.

In life and in death, the guardianship racket always profits, always wins, and always skates.