Medicaid Planning

Setting Up an Irrevocable Funeral or Burial Trust

A Funeral Trust, available through Griffith Funeral Home in Pittsburgh, is completely protected if you ever go into a nursing home and need to apply for Medicaid. 

Spending Down Assets  

If you or a loved one ever has to go into a nursing home, there is a limited amount of assets that are allowable before applicants can apply for Medicaid.  In order to be eligible for Medicaid in Pennsylvania, applicants must have no more than a certain amount of “countable” assets.  Many people begin spending down assets in order to qualify.  One way in which you can spend down assets is by prepaying or setting up an Irrevocable Funeral or Burial Trust.   

Irrevocable Funeral Trust

Irrevocable Funeral Trust

An Irrevocable Funeral or Burial Trust is one of the only things that is completely protected when spending down to qualify for Medicaid.  It is not considered a "countable" asset when applying for Medicaid.

Eligibility for Medicaid

So, when setting up an Irrevocable Funeral or Burial Trust, you can prepay for everything that may be needed for funeral and burial expenses.  The funds are set aside in a special type of life insurance policy designed for funeral planning and are not countable when determining eligibility for Medicaid.  The funds will be available to cover the cost of the funeral and burial expenses at the time of need. 

Consider purchasing or setting aside funds for: funeral arrangements, casket, outer burial container or vault, cemetery charges, flowers, clergy honorarium, obituary, hair dressing, clothing, burial plots, grave markers, and even funds for a memorial luncheon.

Medicaid requires prepaid funeral arrangements to be irrevocable.  While these types of policies are still transferable if, for example, you move and elect to use the services of a different funeral home, the funds are protected for use only towards funeral and burial expenses. 

Assignment and Beneficiary Designation

Most people choose to assign life insurance policies to the funeral home to cover the cost of the arrangements.  Be sure to assign the ownership of the policy to the funeral home rather than just changing the beneficiary, because if the applicant still owns the policy, the cash value may be in excess of the Medicaid qualifying amount.  

If you or a loved one ever needs to spend down assets to apply for Medicaid, an Irrevocable Funeral or Burial Trust, available through Griffith Funeral Home, is one of the only assets that applicants are allowed to have that is completely protected.

Start the Medicaid Planning process now by making an appointment with us to discuss prearrangement and prepayment options in more detail.  We will help you understand the current limits or maximum allowable amounts that may be set aside for funeral and burial expenses in the Pittsburgh area (varies by County).   


After setting aside funds in a Irrevocable Funeral Trust, we can help you implement a plan for spending down excess countable assets after subtracting the Individual Resource Allowance and funeral expense trust amount.

The solution depends on whether you want to obtain immediate Medicaid eligibility or to obtain eligibility as soon as possible while preserving assets and creating a wealth transfer to your intended heirs.

In either case, we will develop a personalized plan based on your income, assets, and the cost of care to help you avoid losing your life savings.

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Communities We Serve

Here is a partial list of some of the Pittsburgh Area communities that we serve:

Baldwin, Bentleyville, Bethel Park, Brentwood, Bridgeville, Brookline, Canonsburg, Carnegie, Castle Shannon, Cecil, Churchill, Claysville, Dormont, Eighty Four, Finleyville, Gill Hall, Heidelberg, Hendersonville, Houston, Jefferson Hills, Lawrence, Library, Marianna, Mars, McDonald, McMurray, McKeesport, Mt. Lebanon, North Strabane, Oakdale, Peters, Pittsburgh, Pleasant Hills, Scott Township, South Park, South Strabane, Upper St. Clair, Venetia, Washington, West Alexander, West Mifflin, Wexford, Whitehall, Willock.