For Asset Protection Strategies, Attorney William A. Lewis Can Help
Medicaid planning is a critical concern for many seniors who are faced with the prospect of long-term nursing home care. Rules and regulations governing long-term care are based on both financial and medical needs, and are extremely complex.
At Lewis Law Office, P.C., we can assist you in navigating the Medicaid planning process in its entirety, from determining eligibility to completing applications. Our aim is to see you thrive in your later years with as much money benefit from the use of your assets as possible.
Why You Need A Lee’s Summit Medicaid Planning Attorney
“Do I have too much money to receive long-term care?” This sounds like a ridiculous question, but it is one families across Missouri ask themselves every day. The reason has to do with the way Medicaid policies are written.
For an elderly person to qualify for long-term medical or nursing home care paid for under the Medicaid program, that person must have limited income and resources. In practice, this means that people who have worked, saved and managed their money intelligently during their entire adult lives can be forced to spend their children’s inheritances before they are eligible to receive assistance. This situation can be particularly perilous when one spouse requires long-term care while the other spouse remains healthy and independent at home.
Due to this paradoxical requirement, many financial planners recommend something called “Medicaid planning”: essentially, utilizing legitimate strategies and requirements for Medicaid eligibility before long-term care is required and then protecting remaining assets from state recovery actions.
Responsible Elder Care Should Not Equal Poverty
At Lewis Law Office, P.C., we believe fervently that our elders should be allowed to grow old with their dignity and their legacies intact. To that end, we can help you protect your assets by methods including:
- Spending assets early by paying for funeral and burial services in advance, making necessary home repairs and improvements, and making other investments where your money best serves your own or your family’s interests.
- Purchasing an irrevocable annuity to supply a healthy spouse with funds, even if the other spouse needs nursing home care.
- Gifting assets to family members and friends. Such transfers must be made 60 months prior to a Medicaid application, and many requirements must be met to avoid penalties; nevertheless, appropriate gifting can be a useful strategy if your goal is to provide a financial legacy to loved ones.
- Establishing a Miller Trust, by which exempt Social Security and other income from Medicaid calculations provided the state is reimbursed from the trust upon the recipient’s death.
Placing ‘Trust’ In Your Financial Future
As with Medicaid planning, we can help your loved ones avoid costly and time-consuming probate actions after your death. The key is to develop a plan to distribute your assets in other ways, including gifts, trusts, life insurance policies, “transfer on death” bank accounts and IRAs, and establishing joint tenancy with the right of survivorship.
A financial entity known as a “living trust” can be created during a person’s lifetime to reduce tax payments or establish long-term management of property. Such trusts are intended to circumvent death probate proceedings and can be used to control the use of assets if the owner of the trust is unable to care for himself or herself.
Speak With A Dedicated Attorney
Avoid Probate • Maximize Tax Protection • Preserve Family Harmony