Elder Law/Medicaid Planning
Many people who face admission to a nursing home or other type of long-term care facility are concerned about protecting their assets and using Medicaid planning instead of having to use personal assets to pay for this kind of care, which is often extremely expensive. However, it is in your best interest to start the estate planning process to protect your assets at least five years before you may be admitted to one of these types of places. Otherwise, the plans you make may not be effective, your assets could be exhausted paying for nursing home care and funds you may have planned to leave as inheritances may be used up as well.
At Nicaud & Sunseri Law Firm, LLC, we are committed to helping people construct comprehensive estate plans that accomplish all of their goals, including preserving Medicaid eligibility.
To find out more about these services and how they may benefit your situation, contact us today to schedule a initial consultation. With offices in Metairie and St. Tammany Parish, we advise and represent clients on the Southshore and the Northshore.
What Is Medicaid Planning?
Medicaid planning is an increasingly important part of estate planning and elder law that involves the arranging of your financial affairs in order to qualify yourself, a loved one or spouse for Medicaid benefits and to preserve for your children or other beneficiaries
their intended inheritance. This usually involves transferring your assets to your
children, directly or in trust, in order to reduce your assets to the point where you
qualify for Medicaid. If you are successful in this planning, the state will pay for
your nursing home care, and your estate will pass to your children.
When dealing with Medicaid, legal advice is essential because of the complexity of the rules you need to comply with in order to ensure you qualify and will continue to qualify for benefits. We can help you implement different spend-down or transfer options so that you meet eligibility as well as what assets are “countable” toward seeing if you qualify for Medicaid, what income you will be able to keep and what assets are exempt from being counted as your total net worth.
Medicaid Planning Options
Here are some ways our lawyers can help ensure that your assets go to your beneficiaries and not to the government:
Irrevocable trusts: This type of trust cannot be revoked or modified unless significant measures are taken. (This may include obtaining unanimous beneficiary consent or court approval.) Since the grantor of the trust no longer outright owns or has control over any of the assets contained in the trust, the irrevocable trust will serve to limit what funds are available to the grantor and help preserve a grantor’s ability to qualify for various governmental benefits such as Medicaid.
Other types of trusts: For instance, an income trust naming yourself (and your spouse if you have one) as income beneficiary and your children as principal beneficiaries will prohibit you from gaining access to the principal under any conditions. One or more of the children can serve as trustee, while you have preserved the income for yourself, which is a reduced amount and may qualify under the income allowance for Medicaid eligibility.
Long-term care insurance: This increasingly popular option allows people to purchase insurance that will supplement the cost of long-term care and avoid putting the cost on children or other loves ones. Picking the right policy is often a complex undertaking and our attorneys have the technical knowledge to help you find the right policy with reasonable insurance premiums and terms.
Our attorneys approach the practice of law and estate planning from a common-sense perspective, seeking practical solutions to complex legal issues. We offer a consultation to discuss your case. Call us today at 504-662-9596 or 985-218-0494, or contact us online. We serve clients throughout southern Louisiana.