Medicaid Planning

Call 315-203-1742
The “Greatest Generation” is dying broke due to long-term care costs. At Safe Harbor Wills and Trusts, we understand that older Americans have special legal needs and concerns. We also understand the importance of being able to rely upon professional when you are dealing with the assets you have accumulated over a lifetime. Every day we help families protect and preserve their assets so that they are not lost to Nursing Home care.

Medicaid Planning and Rules

Medicaid is a Federal benefit program, not unlike Social Security and Medicare. In fact, the money to fund Medicaid came out of the same money with which you funded Social Security and Medicare. Medicaid planning is the process of legally and properly protecting your assets so that you may qualify to have Medicaid pay for either skilled in-home care or long-term skilled nursing care, should those needs arise. There are many different rules to qualifying for Medicaid. Now, more than ever, money-strapped governmental agencies are making it more and more difficult to meet the requirements set down by the Federal Medicaid law. Some of the Medicaid rules and issues of which you should be aware are if you want to apply for Medicaid: If you are married, and one spouse resides in the home, your home is an exempt asset (up to $786,000.00 in equity) and cannot be taken when applying for Medicaid…But what happens if the at home spouse dies first? If you are single or widowed, your home is not exempt, and it can be lost to Medicaid. If you want to save your house and you transfer it your children, not only will it result in immediate ineligibility for Medicaid, but it could also:
  • Trigger a gift tax,
  • Result in the loss of your STAR tax exemption, and,
  • Result in your child’s spouse (the in-laws) inheriting your home when your child dies.
Also, when you give your assets away, it means that you have given up control. Even if you trust your kids, what happens if they: Get divorced? Go bankrupt? Get sued? Die before you do? Your house (and anything else you gave away to “protect it”) can be lost. There are asset protection trusts that permit you to keep 100% control of your assets without the risk of losing them if long-term care is needed.  These Trusts keep you in control so you don’t have to worry about losing your assets.

Medicaid Myths

Forget what you think you may know! Medicaid is a complicated program to navigate without all of the facts… DID YOU KNOW:
  • It doesn’t take five (5) years to qualify for Medicaid
  • It’s never too late to qualify for Medicaid.
  • You can give away money and still get Medicaid, but only if it is done correctly.
  • You don’t have to spend all of you money before you can qualify for Medicaid.
  • You do not have to wait 60 months to qualify for Medicaid.
  • A knowledgable attorney can save you tens of thousands of dollars in Nursing Home costs.
If you apply for Medicaid before you are financially qualified to receive Medicaid, not only will you be denied Medicaid, but you will be forced to spend down all of the what Medicaid calls “Excess Resources” (we call it inheritance) until you are finally financially qualified for Medicaid. Eligibility is calculated on a case-by-case basis. Get professional advice and learn the facts. Schedule your initial meeting today to see how quickly you can qualify for Medicaid and how much money you can save for your loved ones. It is never too late to protect your assets even if you are already in a nursing home. In fact, you can qualify for Medicaid sooner if you are already in a nursing home, than if you aren’t. A nursing home or hospital that offers to file a Medicaid application for you has no obligation (and often can’t) advise you on how to protect your assets. Only a qualified Medicaid planning attorney will be looking out for your interests. Applying for Medicaid prior to qualification could result in being disqualified for a longer period of time than you otherwise would have been. Make sure the attorney you hire is trained and experienced in Medicaid planning. Would you go to your family doctor for a heart problem?
If you are in a nursing home or going into a nursing home, do not apply for Medicaid until you have spoken to an attorney! This simple mistake could cost you tens of thousands of dollars! Please call our office for immediate help, 315-203-1742.