Planning for a nursing home stay is like planning for anything else in life, the sooner you do it and the better job you do, the more realistic it is for you to have the outcome you want. When a person is facing a nursing home stay their primary concern is to make sure their spouse and children are going to be taken care of. The way we do that is we make sure that as soon as the person is ready, we need to act upon it quickly. A lot of people fail to plan for this and the sooner we plan, the more money we can save. For example when you apply for Medicaid, they will ask about all transfers that you’ve made in the last 5 years. If we give money away and more than 5 years pass, then we save all of those assets and those gifts don’t cause a problem. Generally speaking, the sooner I apply for Medicaid, the sooner I can get a person on Medicaid. With the average nursing home costing $7500 a month, it is crucial to plan as rapidly as we can and as far in advance as we can.
They need to find an office … not just a lawyer … that does a lot of Medicaid planning and has genuinely good people. This is not something to attempt on your own. Mistakes by an amateur can cost a lot of money and keep a person from getting the care they need. Once they find a lawyer who knows what he is doing, they need to meet him and his staff. This planning normally takes a lot of involvement from the client. Therefore, it is important to find someone you want to work with. They can be the most knowledgeable persons in the world, but if they are jerks, then it takes a difficult process and makes it unbearable. Find an attorney and staff who are kind and caring people. If you get no sympathy from them, then move along. Our attorneys and staff have all placed someone they love in a nursing home or lost folks close to them. We know what it’s like. These are horrible situations. We have sympathy and patience because we really care. We’ve been there ourselves.