Everyone has a general idea of what Medicaid is; however, most people don’t take the time to research Medicaid and Elder Law Planning. Maximizing quality of life as we grow old is a goal toward which we should all strive. One of the best ways to ensure the lasting quality of life into our golden years is through Long Term Care Planning.
Elder Law Planning
Elder law planning is different from estate planning because elder law primarily focuses on age-related issues that older people face. Elder Law planning includes:
- Health Care Proxies
- Living Wills
- Powers of Attorney
Elder law is critically important as it covers Medicaid planning, protection of assets, avoiding guardianship proceedings, and care for older people who may be abused or neglected.
The state of New York defines Medicaid as a wide-ranging, state and federally funded health care program. This program is primarily for low-income individuals and covers pregnant women, children, disabled individuals, and New York senior residents over 65. Medicaid offers seniors long-term care programs, but eligibility can get complicated as it will vary across each program based on income, assets, and marital status.
Medicaid planning is a part of elder law planning that can help you become eligible for Medicaid assistance, even if you think you may not qualify due to income or assets.
Medicaid Planning is essential considering Long Island nursing homes and home health care are expensive, and planning for the expense of nursing home care, home health care, assisted living facilities can seem far off.
Planning today is critically important because of specific rules allowing Medicaid to look at your assets years before you apply in what is known as a look-back period. Currently, in the state of New York, the look-back period is five years. During this time frame, Medicaid checks all past transfers to ensure no assets were gifted or sold for less than they are worth. Suppose they determine that you violated the look-back period. In that case, you can be penalized with a Medicaid penalty period, meaning you will be ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time.
Before you need Medicaid assistance, planning will ensure that your quality of life and peace of mind will continue well into the future. Even if you did not plan early, the elder law planning attorneys at Sheryll Law, P.C. may still be able to help you qualify for Medicaid.
Our experienced attorneys know the Medicaid planning tools that can help you avoid the pitfalls of Medicaid eligibility, including:
- Gifting of cash and assets to family members
- Placing assets into irrevocable trusts
- Purchase of long-term care insurance
- Purchasing annuities
- Transferring the title to your home to intended beneficiaries
Proper use of these tools can lower the income and asset base that Medicaid will use to determine eligibility.
Benefits of Elder Law and Medicaid Planning
Remember, Medicaid eligibility is very complex; the rules and criteria can change frequently. That is why you should not do it without the guidance of a trusted elder law planning attorney. If you do not prepare your applications correctly, it can impact your eligibility. Additionally, if you violate the look-back period, you can face penalization, meaning you will be ineligible for Medicaid for some time.
Advance Elder law and Medicaid planning can prevent:
- Giving up all your hard-earned money to pay for in-home and nursing home care
- Medicaid from taking your home
- Burdening your loved ones with the cost of long-term care
- Giving Money to the government, Medicaid, and non-family members
- Financial stress on family
The attorneys at Sheryll Law, P.C. help our clients structure their financial resources and prepare documentation to ensure the best possibility of being accepted into the Medicaid program. We will create a personalized strategy that will suit your particular needs. We will review what will work best for you, including trusts, manage asset transfers, and convert countable assets into exempt assets to ensure eligibility and preserve a family’s resources.
Sheryll Law P.C. offers elder law and Medicaid planning services for our clients. Our attorneys assist with setting up cohesive strategies for long-term care planning to make in-home and nursing home care affordable and worry-free. When it comes to something this important, you need an ally, someone who can advocate on your behalf. Contact us today at (631) 506-8440, or complete our online form so you can begin to prepare for the future.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.