What is Medicaid Planning
Medicaid Planning refers to planning for the possibility that a person may need long-term care, including home health aides, rehab, or nursing home care in the future. Without proper planning, long-term care can deplete an individual’s life savings. Fortunately, qualifying for Medicaid can help protect those assets for you and for loved ones.
In order to establish eligibility for Medicaid, your assets will be reviewed through a means-test. This process is designed to disqualify individuals who have the resources to pay for long-term care without government assistance. To qualify, your assets must be below a certain threshold amount.
Applying and qualifying for Medicaid is not always straightforward. If you have questions about your eligibility or recently applied and did not qualify, Somekh & Associates can help. We combine decades of experience in estate planning and elder law to help individuals like you plan ahead so that their assets are protected in the event long-term care is required.
Paying for long-term care can come at a great expense to not only you but also your family. While nursing homes and other long-term care facilities provide the support and ongoing medical attention that you need as you age, the costs of living in these facilities can stretch into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Individuals who fail to plan for long-term care may have to deplete their life savings and sell their homes in order to make initial payments before they are eligible to receive Medicaid payments.
Fortunately, there is a way to prevent this from happening. With proactive planning, prior to the need for long-term care, you can protect your assets from total loss.
Are There Benefits To Hiring A Medicaid Attorney?
Assistance With The Medicaid Application
Applying for Medicaid is often complicated, time-consuming, and stressful. A Medicaid attorney can help you and your family complete the necessary paperwork, provide documentation, and complete the Medicaid application.
While many individuals choose to complete the Medicaid application on their own, mistakes on the application, deficient documentation, or improperly structured income can lead to a Medicaid denial. Of course, a denial can always be appealed, but mistakes can take months if not years to correct.
An experienced Medicaid attorney can save you or your loved one from the headaches – and heartaches – associated with this complex application process.
Meeting Medicaid’s Income and Asset Limits
Qualifying for Medicaid is not a simple process. In order to qualify, an applicant must meet very specific financial requirements based on certain income and assets limits. If your income and assets exceed these limits, qualifying for Medicaid can be very challenging.
If you do not currently meet the limits imposed by Medicaid, you are not automatically disqualified from Medicaid. A Medicaid lawyer can employ various estate planning strategies to help reduce your income and assets to meet the financial requirements. This means that you can qualify and apply for Medicaid to pay for long-term care while preserving your life savings.
Protecting Income And Assets For A Non-Applicant Spouse
If you are currently married, you may be curious to know more about the Medicaid application process and how a Medicaid attorney can help protect your spouse in the event that you need long-term care. A Medicaid attorney can help you and your spouse plan for nursing home care and avoid financial hardship in the event of illness or incapacity. Under federal Medicaid laws, there are guardrails that protect a healthy spouse’s financial assets in the event one spouse requires long-term care. A Medicaid attorney will work with you and your spouse to further protect marital assets and maximize the monthly income that can be transferred to a non-applicant spouse.
Preserving Financial Assets For Family Members
If you require long-term care in a nursing home or through home care, your assets and income will be used to pay for the associated expenses. That is, unless you qualify for Medicaid. By working with an experienced Medicaid attorney, you can create a legal strategy to plan for long-term care that protects your assets, your home, and your family.
The Importance of Protecting Your Assets
If you do not qualify for Medicaid, your retirement accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, real property and personal property may be used to pay for long-term care.
Asset protection helps shield your wealth and eventually transfer it to your beneficiaries without court proceedings. This is designed to ensure you have enough resources to cover your needs and your family’s needs in the future.
While “asset protection” may seem like it is only for the ultra-wealthy, this estate planning strategy is used by thousands of individuals who find themselves at risk of losing their life savings because their assets are just above the Medicaid threshold.
At Somekh & Associates, we advocate for seniors and their family members. We have helped hundreds of other individuals just like you apply for Medicaid and create estate planning strategies that will preserve your assets for your loved ones.
There Are Many Ways to Protect Your Assets
There are several ways in which you can protect your assets in the event you need long-term care.
Utilizing trusts, for example, is an estate planning tool that awards stewardship of assets to a trustee whose responsibility is to distribute it to the heirs or beneficiaries at death. Trusts help avoid the lengthy and draining probate proceedings and provide an alternative solution in the event of incapacitation or death.
Every situation is different, and what is right for you will depend on your goals, assets, and timeline. To learn more, you should speak with an estate planning attorney who has experience helping individuals protect assets by qualifying for Medicaid.
Can An Attorney Help Me With A Medicaid Emergency?
Emergencies happen. Injuries, illnesses, and other mental or physical incapacities can occur without notice. For families that are experiencing medical emergencies that will require long-term care, there is no time to plan and protect their loved one’s financial assets from being used to pay for the high cost of ongoing medical attention. This is what we call a Medicaid crisis.
Although your options in an emergency situation may be limited, you still have options. At Somekh & Associates, our attorneys have worked with family members who are in crisis to implement estate planning strategies to help loved ones qualify for Medicaid in emergency situations.
If you or a loved one is in the midst of an emergency situation and needs assistance with Medicaid planning immediately, contact a Medicaid attorney as soon as possible. Time is not on your side. By working with an experienced elder law attorney, you can avoid mistakes commonly made throughout the Medicaid process – mistakes that can cost you time, money, and nights of lost sleep. Contact The Law Office of Somekh & Associates today to get started.
How You Can Hire A Medicaid Attorney
The first step to protecting your assets and income through Medicaid planning is meeting with an attorney. At Somekh & Associates, we will start by looking at your specific situation and help you determine the best path forward. Medicaid can be complex, stressful, and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Our Medicaid attorneys will work with you through every step of the estate planning and Medicaid process. Contact our office today to get started.
Consult Somekh & Associates
Somekh & Associates is committed to helping New York seniors and their families prepare for their future by protecting their assets and ensuring that legal matters are appropriately handled.
Contact us online or call us at 718-740-3300 to discuss protecting your assets by qualifying for Medicaid with New York asset protection attorney Lori Somekh.