Most people who require extended care in a nursing home or other long-term care facility eventually need to rely on Medicaid to pay for their care. Unfortunately, this often requires spending down their family’s assets to meet the strict income and asset requirements of this public program. However, there is a better way.
A Bratton Law Medicaid planning lawyer in Egg Harbor Township, NJ can help you build a legal strategy that allows your loved one to qualify for benefits sooner while protecting some or all of your assets. Our interdisciplinary team of Medicaid planning lawyers, social workers, and a registered nurse can help you understand how this process works and help design a Medicaid plan that works for your family. Call us today at 856-857-6007 to schedule an appointment.
Understanding the Medicaid Program Qualifications and Benefits
Health insurance does not cover assisted living or nursing home care, and most people do not have long-term care insurance. This leaves Medicaid as the best way for most people to pay for this type of care. To qualify for Medicaid, you must meet certain income and asset limits, including:
- You must be a U.S. citizen or a qualifying immigrant
- You are at least age 65 or suffer from a qualifying disability
- Your household income and assets meet the program’s strict limits
As you can probably imagine, it is the income and asset limits that pose a problem for many families. The limits are very low and leave no leeway for families who have assets they want to pass down to the next generation or family heirlooms that have monetary value.
The Big Spend Down
All too often, seniors simply begin spending down their personal accounts and gifting assets when they or their spouse needs to move into an assisted living or nursing home facility. They spend everything they have until there is nothing left, and they meet the low limits set by Medicaid. We want to help you avoid this.
In other cases, people move money into their child’s name, gift family heirlooms, and otherwise try to move as much money into the family members’ accounts as possible. This causes significant problems as Medicaid looks into your financial history during the application process. If it finds you tried to hide assets in the last five years, you may not be able to get Medicaid benefits until you serve a penalty period.
Our Medicaid planning strategy can help you avoid these problems, protecting as much of your assets as possible and helping your loved one qualify for Medicaid benefits sooner.
How Egg Harbor Medicaid Planning Works
Medicaid planning allows you to protect your nest egg but still get the benefits you need from Medicaid. We can put a Medicaid planning strategy in place that allows you to get Medicaid coverage sooner without spending down your assets. This means you can get the care your loved one needs without putting your assets in jeopardy.
If we get started soon enough, we can help you distribute and protect your assets without question. Medicaid only looks back five years, so anything moved before then is safe. You have the option to:
- Protect your spouse
- Move your assets into a trust for your children or grandchildren
- Gift valuables to your heirs without penalty
- Move money into your child’s account, assuming they no longer live in your house
- Donate to your favorite charity
If you need Medicaid benefits sooner, we can help you put a plan in place that protects as much of your assets as possible. You will likely need to spend down some of your savings, but we may still be able to protect a significant portion of it. We will ensure the strategy we develop works well with your preferences and financial situation.
Medicaid Planning Offers Benefits for Every Member of the Family
Medicaid planning does a lot more than provide a way to pay for long-term or nursing home care for your aging loved one. It also has benefits for the rest of the family, including knowing your financial future is secure. Medicaid planning with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you:
- Stop worrying about how to pay for your loved one’s care or your own future care
- Provide your family member with the appropriate level of care even through changing needs
- Ensure your loved one can live the quality of life they currently enjoy
- Pay for your loved one’s necessary medical care
- Get and keep access to the assets your loved one set aside for you
We always spend time with the families we work with, discussing their needs and preferences, as well as talking about what they hope to gain from Medicaid planning. We want to ensure our plan takes all of your family’s unique needs into account. We use what we learn to build a step-by-step plan that lets your loved one qualify for Medicaid sooner while spending down as little as possible of your family’s assets.
Talk to a Medicaid Planning Attorney in Egg Harbor Township About Your Needs
At Bratton Law, our team of experienced and knowledgeable professionals will work with your family to protect your assets and get you the Medicaid benefits you need sooner. Our Medicaid and estate plans offer peace of mind and make it easier to enjoy your later years without worrying about your family’s financial well-being. We know how Medicaid law works, and how you can take advantage of these benefits without having to spend down the money you spent decades saving.
Call us at 856-857-6007 to reach a member of our Medicaid Planning team today.