Helping You Understand Your Medicaid Planning Options
Americans are living longer than in previous generations. With an aging population, more and more elders find it difficult to live independently. For many families, the prospect of placing a loved one in a nursing home is more likely than ever before. Engaging in long-term care planning is an important process that can give families peace of mind.
Get Advance Advice From An Experienced Medicaid Planning Lawyer
The best-case scenario is to create an elder law plan long before you or a loved one needs long-term care. For instance, long-term care insurance is generally more affordable when purchased early, and premiums can be spread over many years.
I have nearly 30 years of experience guiding families through complex estate planning and Medicaid issues. I can explain the pros and cons regarding a wide range of advance planning tools and how they apply to your unique circumstances, including:
- Creating trusts to protect assets
- The use of beneficiary deeds to transfer real estate outside of probate
- The use of transfer on death clauses to transfer vehicles and bank accounts outside of probate
- Purchasing long-term care insurance to eliminate the need for Medicaid
Avoiding Mistakes In Medicaid Crisis Planning
Federal law includes a five-year look-back period for asset transfers when a person applies for Medicaid benefits. Many elders and family members have heard of the “Spend Down” concept commonly associated with qualifying for Medicaid. Any transfer of cash, property or other assets during the 60-month look-back period could result in a penalty, delaying eligibility for Medicaid for months or years. The penalty can be financially devastating for families.
Many seniors who are entering a nursing home are concerned that their spouse will be left impoverished as money and assets are spent down to meet the Medicaid and MO HealthNet eligibility requirements. Even in a crisis planning situation, there may be legal and ethical methods to preserve assets for a spouse who does not need long-term care. My practice is founded on open and honest communication. I can review your unique situation, asset structure and family dynamics to provide straightforward answers to allow you to make informed decisions to protect your family.