What is Medicaid Planning?

iStock_000003471118SmallQuincy Attorney Thomas R. Mullen will work with you to set up a individualized Medicaid Plan.  Medicaid planning is a legal process of protecting property and assets from the high cost of nursing home care. It is a specialized area of law that is increasingly important, not only because Americans are living longer, but also due to recent harsh changes in the law. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 has made qualifying for Medicaid assistance without suffering severe financial penalties more difficult than ever. Seniors and those who love them will lose their lifetime of savings, their children’s inheritance, and even their homes. The high cost of nursing home care is the most serious financial risk faced by seniors today. However, with proper Medicaid planning and the help of a competent ElderLaw Attorney, most (if not all) assets can be saved. Medicaid planning is broken down into two categories, pre-planning and crisis planning.

Pre-planning refers to planning ahead for the possibility of nursing home care. Crisis planning, on the other hand, deals with sudden medical changes which require immediate help. Pre-planning is preferable as it provides more options with regard to asset protection, but pre-planning is not always possible. Attorney Tom Mullen knows how to lead seniors and their loved ones through this crisis. Even seniors who are already in a nursing home can benefit financially from his experience and expertise. If you are currently residing in a nursing home, it’s still not too late to help save your  home and lifetime of savings!

Dangerous Medicaid mistakes you must avoid.

16801424Thinking it’s too late now to plan. It’s always better to plan early, but it’s never too late. Even if you are already in a nursing home.

Giving away assets too early. First, make sure your needs will be taken care of before you even consider giving away assets. And even if you think you’ll be okay, remember: There are severe penalties for gifting if it is not done according to the complex laws governing Medicaid eligibility. Consult a qualified ElderLaw attorney before giving anything away.

Ignoring important safe harbors created by Congress because you feel Medicaid planning is unethical. Our last federal revision (prior to 2005) was in 1993 when the Republicans took control of Congress. They believed it was legal, moral and ethical to provide the children of the Depression with the ability to protect their lifetime of savings.

Not protecting the well spouse. You may have heard that the well spouse can keep $100,000. In fact, other rules almost always permit that spouse to protect all liquid assets.

Failure to understand Medicaid liens. Some liens are enforceable after death while others (those on life estates for instance) disappear at death. There are additional exceptions that state workers never mention. To get the help you need and the information to which you are entitled, make an appointment with an attorney who specializes in ElderLaw.