Medicaid Planning and Asset Preservation 

Asset protection is a process of acquiring the necessary plans and documents to manage your estate through the end of life.  We focus on accomplishing our clients goals in structuring a plan that allows the elder person to live with dignity and pass on something to their loved ones.  A variety of tools may used to accomplish the clients goals,  including:  powers-of-attorney, gifting, beneficiary designations, wills, trusts, and personal service agreements.  

The cost of long-term care is astronomical, and good assisted living or skilled care nursing homes can drain away your hard-earned retirement savings. Many people cannot afford or cannot qualify for long-term care insurance, so they are forced to look to Medicaid.

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides medical assistance to low-income individuals, including seniors who are 65 and over. While having limited assets is one of the criteria for qualifying for Medicaid, it is one of a multitude of requirements that must be met in order to qualify. With all the recent and coming changes to Medicaid over the past few years, it is very important to have an attorney that understands the complexities.

With proper planning, it is possible to qualify for Medicaid without becoming destitute. There are a number of estate planning tools that can be used including trusts, gifts, annuities, promissory notes, spending down and other tools used in various combinations depending on the nature of your assets and your particular needs. 

The 2005 Deficient Reduction Act made significant changes to the rules regarding the transfer of assets in order to qualify for Medicaid as well as how assets are classified when determining the amount of your assets. For example, if you were to transfer any assets to your children within five years of applying for Medicaid, the amount of those transfers would still count in your total assets due to the “look-back” period. Thus without proper planning, you could find yourself destitute and still unable to qualify for Medicaid.

Also, the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid eligibility effective in 2014 though not all states are planning to participate as the Supreme Court made the expansion voluntary.

It is very important to start planning for your long-term care before you think you may need it. Equally important is having an attorney that understands the complexities of frequently changing Medicaid laws in your state in order to find the best way to protect your carefully saved retirement money for yourself and your children.

We hold an in-depth consultation with our clients to determine what plans are necessary to best suit their needs. Contact us to schedule a initial planning session. 

Medicaid Crisis Planning

When a loved one unexpectedly must enter a skilled nursing facility, family members are overwhelmed.  During such a crisis, the family can still plan for the future and in some cases, preserve some of the family wealth while still maintaining appropriate care for their loved one.  Similar to general Medicaid Planning and Asset Preservation, our firm can use a variety of tools to accomplish your goals. 

Medicaid Application and Resource Assessments 

Applying for Medicaid can be an overwhelming process.  Medicaid will want very detailed information about your life, including finances, real estate holdings, insurance, and medical bills.  There is an additional step for married couples because they must obtain a Resource Assessment before applying for Medicaid.  We help our clients by applying for Medicaid on their behalf and aiding married couples in transferring resources in order for the community spouse to not become impoverished while their spouse is in a nursing facility.

Contact us for help with your Medicaid Application or Resource Assessment needs. 

Veterans Benefits

Unfortunately many of the brave men and women who have served our country often do not realize that they qualify for a veteran’s pension. Contrary to popular belief, in order to meet the requirements to receive a veteran’s pension you do not have to be a wounded or disabled veteran, you do not have to retire with the military and you do not have to serve in combat or in a combat zone during a time of war.

Further, veterans or their surviving spouses are who are eligible for veteran’s pension benefits that are also housebound or require the attendance of another person may be eligible for additional monetary payments in addition to their base veteran’s pension. Receiving these benefits could make it possible for you to afford home health assistance and stay in your own home as you age.

 To be eligible for a veteran’s pension:

  •   You must meet the minimum service requirements, which are 90 days of active duty service with at least one day during a wartime period. (If you are on active duty after September 7, 1980, generally you must have served at least 24 months or the full term of service).
    • Qualifying wartime periods:
      • World War I (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)
      • World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)
      • Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)
      • Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)
      • Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)
  • Also you must be one of the following:
    •  Age 65 or older, OR
    • Totally and permanently disabled, OR
    • A patient in a nursing home receiving skilled nursing care, OR
    • Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, OR
    • Receiving Supplemental Security Income