Why Medicaid planning?
When seniors suffer a major health crisis, they are often faced
with decisions that affect the quality of life for themselves
and their family and often find themselves at the mercy of a
cold and unforgiving system. Medical care and/or long term care
can easily drain a family of all of their assets, creating
problems for the remaining dependents. In many families, some
family members are financially supporting children, siblings,
parents or spouses who suffer major illnesses or disabilities
and have no other resources available.
Asset protection for seniors is becoming more critical as people
are living longer, suffering from more debilitating diseases,
and are requiring more long term care than ever before. Family
members who used to be the caregivers now live in different
cities, are often dealing with their own children and are
usually part of dual income families who can’t drop everything
to care for an aging or ill loved one.
How can an elder law attorney help?
Elder law attorneys are often dealing with clients who are in
desperate need of planning for themselves and their loved ones.
Often these clients have waited until disaster has struck before
contacting an attorney and their options are extremely limited.
It is the elder law attorney’s obligation to explore and present
ALL available options to a family inthis situation. While the
Medicaid program was originally intended for the poorest segment
of our population, it is sometimes the only option for middle
class individuals as well.
Repositioning of assets is an appropriate planning tool
“Medicaid planning” consists of actions taken to reposition
assets in an effort to protect the well spouse and to promote
the independence and quality of life for the Medicaid
beneficiary. For years, the repositioning of assets has been an
accepted practice and a viable tool for America’s middle class.
Some options available to you may allow you to become Medicaid
eligible right away, and protect thousands of dollars from
nursing home expenses.
Insurance companies have made great strides in their development
of long term options. These insurance products are a solid
planning tool recognized by elder law attorneys and should be
considered by anyone who is healthy and preferably, in or before
their early 40’s. However, they are not the answer for all
people in all situations. In fact, if someone has already been
diagnosed with an illness or is at or around retirement age, the
insurance is generally either unavailable or unaffordable.
these cases, an elder law attorney can provide options related
to Medicaid planning, and protecting clients’ assets from
nursing home costs.
In many cases, clients can become
Medicaid eligible within a short period of time without
incurring an ineligibility period. Clients can often save
thousands of dollars from nursing home expenses.
What is your next step?
What should you do when you and your family are facing the
devastating situation of a loved one’s becoming incapacitated,
and your family does not have the resources available to pay for
the long term care needs?
When you are undergoing this situation it is recommended that
you talk to a legal professional so that you can understand the
options available to you and your family.
is important that you receive this information so that your
assets can be protected. There are specific rules associated
with the transfer of assets when dealing with Medicaid
eligibility. Transferring assets without complying with these
rules could result in long periods of ineligibility, which could
result in financial disaster for your family.
Call us for your free consultation and find out what your
options are and how you can protect those you love.
The content on this page is provided in part by the National
Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Eye on Elder Issues,
June 2004 newsletter.