The best time to consider long-term care is when you do not need it. The sooner we do the planning, the greater the odds we can save more money. However, even if we are at the last minute, there are still things we can do to save some of the assets. It is never too late to try to preserve some of the wealth.
Medicaid is a valuable resource you can use to pay for nursing home care; however, you and/or your spouse must qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid has income and asset requirements that you must meet in order for Medicaid to pay your nursing home costs. Medicaid planning is the process of reviewing your income and assets to determine how your estate can be restructured to preserve your assets and qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Even though you may believe you have too much income or too many assets to qualify for Medicaid, you need to discuss Medicaid planning with your estate planning attorney. Effective long-term care planning requires an attorney who understands the complex and complicated Medicaid laws in addition to having extensive knowledge of tax laws and expertise in estate planning. An Elder Law and Medicaid attorney can help you avoid mistakes that would disqualify you from receiving Medicaid for nursing home care.
Acting now to plan for long-term care can increase your chances of receiving Medicaid by optimizing your finances and assets in anticipation of a Medicaid application. While Medicaid prevents you from simply “giving away” or “gifting” your assets to reduce the value of your countable assets, there are methods for reducing your countable assets that will not disqualify you for Medicaid or that can get you on Medicaid quicker than if you do nothing. It is important that you take the correct steps now to protect yourself should you need expensive long-term nursing home care.
Medicaid and Nursing Home Planning Documents
Many families realize too late that they do not have the income to pay for nursing home care. They are forced to liquidate assets to pay for care. If you seek the assistance of a Medicaid planning attorney now, you can protect your assets for your family and ensure you will receive the care you need. Even if your family has waited until the nursing home stay is at hand, though, we can almost always take some action to preserve some wealth.
When analyzing your financial situation, several documents are required to determine how your finances and assets need to be structured to give you the best chance of being approved for Medicaid, if you should need it in the future. The documents are required in order for your attorney to determine what actions are required to accomplish your Medicaid planning goals. Our staff will provide you with a detailed list of all documents needed during the Medicaid planning process. We want to be as thorough as possible to ensure that your Medicaid plan protects your assets and provides the financial support you need in the event you are placed in a nursing home.
Examples of the types of documents we would require during the Medicaid planning process include:
- Statements for all financial accounts in your name or that you are listed as a joint owner
- Titles to all real estate
- Titles to all vehicles, boats, and other real property
- Life insurance policies
- Trust Agreements
- Tax Returns
- Titles to burial plots and Pre-paid Funeral Contracts
- Verification of all income
In addition to your current finances, you may also need to provide documents related to gifts and/or transfers.
Contact Lovett & House for Medicaid Planning
Our attorneys want to help you prepare for your future. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable Medicaid planning attorney. We are here to help you as you prepare for your future.