A good elder law attorney is specially trained to spot and handle certain issues. However, many people attempt to apply for Medicaid on their own or with help from a nursing home, because they fear attorney fees. These people may be missing out on opportunities for planning that could potentially save them thousands of dollars and hours of headaches. Here are ten signs that an expert is needed.
You should call an Elder Law Attorney if the Applicant has…
1… Disabled Children.
Special protections can be afforded to disabled children. An elder law attorney can use these protections to protect assets while still qualifying the applicant for Medicaid.
2… Assets Over $25,000.
Spending on care is not the only option. An elder law attorney can advise how to best protect the assets, and whether Medicaid is the best route
3…A Community Spouse.
Medicaid affords special protections to spouses. An elder law attorney can help plan to use the money to the spouse’s best advantage, while still qualifying for Medicaid.
4… Recently Made Large Gifts
Regardless of the purpose, gifts are penalized under Medicaid rules. An elder law attorney can help cure these gifts and qualify for Medicaid.
5… A Child or Sibling Living in the Residence
There may be exemptions for family members in the residence. An elder law attorney can create a plan to protect dependents and qualify for Medicaid.
6… Income Too High to Qualify
Some long-term care programs have an income cap. An elder law attorney can set up special trusts to divert the income to allow the client to qualify for Medicaid waiver programs.
7… A Retirement Account
IRA’s and 401K’s can adversely affect Medicaid, Taxes and Income. An elder law attorney can utilize both these assets in the way most advantageous to still qualify for Medicaid.
8… An Unmarried Partnership
Partners don’t have all the protections granted by marriage. An elder law attorney can protect domestic partners and advise when marriage or divorce may be advantageous.
9… Caretaker Children
If children are providing a large portion of care, they may receive compensation. An elder law attorney can use this to protect assets while still qualifying for Medicaid.
10… Long Term Care Insurance
Long term care insurance is a valuable tool best used in conjunction with a Medicaid plan. An elder law attorney can advise on the most advantageous way to use the policy.
Note: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.
Kyla A. Williger, CELA
Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., L.P.A.
5 East Main St.
Hudson, OH 44236