Thursday, November 5, 2009

Medicaid / Long-Term Care Planning

When people are faced with the possibility of nursing home care, they usually fear losing their home to Medicaid estate recovery. There are many tools and strategies that an elder law attorney can employ to preserve the home and other assets of people facing long-term skilled nursing care.

Such tools may include:
• Asset transfers
• Irrevocable Trusts
• Life Estates
• Annuities
• Spending down of assets, including:
o prepaying funeral expenses,
o paying off a mortgage,
o making repairs to a home,
o replacing an old automobile,
o updating home furnishings,
o paying for more care at home, or even
o buying a new home.

Do you need an attorney for long-term care planning? This depends on your situation, but in most cases, the prudent answer would be "yes." There are very particular regulations and penalties to be avoided, and complex financial considerations. There may be a particular rule that applies in your case or some recent changes in the law. In addition, by the time you're applying for Medicaid, you may have missed out on significant planning opportunities.

If you are going to consult with a qualified professional, the sooner the better. If you wait, it may be too late to take some steps available to preserve your assets.

**This is only for advertising purposes. It does not create an attorney client relationship. It only provides general information and is not legal advice. Every case is different; you should contact an attorney to discuss your specific situation.