Long-Term Care Planning / Asset Protection
Miller Trust & Irrevocable Trust
The applicant for Medicaid must first qualify medically. This requirement is met if the applicant needs help with at least one or more activities of daily living. The general rule for Medicaid financial qualification is that one has to spend down all of one’s assets to $2,000 or less.
A careful reading of the Medicaid statutes and regulations reveals that there are exceptions to the general rule. These exceptions permit two types of planning strategies to protect assets and still qualify for Long Term Care Medicaid. The first is a “prospective plan” where certain assets are moved into trust. When you apply for Medicaid, in five or more years thereafter, the trust’s assets will be protected from the requirement to spend down excess assets. The second strategy involves qualifying you for Medicaid after the crisis hits. Crisis means you have entered a facility for care or the cost of care exceeds your income and that an application for Medicaid benefits will be filed. In the crisis case, we can protect up to 50% (or more) of your assets and still qualify you for Medicaid.
We also help families that have only a few assets and need to apply for Medicaid. Unfortunately, Delaware is one of the hardest states to successfully get through the application process. Although an attorney is not required to be successful, clients that hire us are either burned/stressed out or do not have the time. Having an attorney involved does, however, pay off when the Medicaid worker misapplies the Medicaid regulations. We are often successful in resolving the issue by writing the supervisor. This avoids a formal appeal for a Fair Hearing.
Sometimes you simply need a Miller Trust to qualify for Medicaid because your income is above the $1,838 cap. We draft the trust document, go over it in detail with you, provide a memo on how to manage the trust correctly, and help you set up the Miller trust account with the bank.
Elder law focuses on helping seniors and their loved ones prepare for and cope with the many changes that accompany growing older. One of the most critical aspects of Elder Law is finding ways to pay for long-term care. The fact is, most seniors will require some form of long-term care during the course of their lives, and many are unprepared for the potential financial devastation caused by long-term care costs that can average $7,500 a month, or more. We can help you plan in advance to protect your life savings against the high cost of long-term care, as well as obtain assistance from Medicaid. Remember: The earlier you put a plan in place to protect your assets, the more options you will have.
Medicaid Planning (Pre-Crisis)
Medicaid pre-planning, also known as non-crisis Medicaid planning, is for people who are healthy now but want to ensure that if they do become incapacitated, they will have a plan in place to protect their life savings. We can design an estate plan that helps preserve your assets, as well as adequately manage your financial and personal affairs, should you become incapacitated. With a well-drafted plan in place, you not only help ensure that you will be well cared for in the event of incapacity, but also enjoy greater peace of mind.
A Medicaid Crisis
We define a “Medicaid crisis” as a situation in which a person needs assistance or full nursing care NOW and has been informed that they have too many assets to qualify for financial assistance from Medicaid. What you must understand is that the information provided by family friends, nursing home personnel, and even people who work for Medicaid itself, is quite often outdated or just plain wrong. These folks may mean well, but they simply do not fully understand the complicated and ever-changing laws surrounding eligibility for Medicaid. At the Delaware Elder Law Center, we do.
If you or someone you love is facing a Medicaid crisis, contact us as soon as possible. We have helped numerous families obtain the assistance they need while preserving their life savings. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you.