Many people are surprised to learn that they can preserve assets for themselves, their spouse, and their loved ones and still qualify for Medicaid, despite the restrictive gifting rules in place.
There is much misinformation or misunderstanding among the public about the legality of gifts and transfers when long-term nursing care becomes necessary. We routinely find that clients have heard pieces of information from family, friends, or nursing home administrators, which are not always accurate or complete. Some basic advance planning (like a power of attorney with the proper provisions) puts in place the tools necessary to enable asset-preservation planning at the time of admission to the nursing home. More in-depth advance planning, including use of a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT), may be appropriate for some individuals or couples.
Our primary goal is to ensure the uninterrupted care of the nursing home patient throughout the qualification process, while preserving the greatest amount of assets possible.
At Niehaus Law Office, we help clients understand their options for preserving some of their assets. For clients that are in current need of long-term nursing care, we work with individuals, couples, or families to create and actively manage an asset preservation plan. This includes:
- comprehensive review of assets and income;
- in-depth review of tax ramifications of any plan;
- assistance with the necessary transfers and legal documents to carry out this plan;
- completion and filing of the Medicaid application with the necessary government entity (Job and Family Services) with supporting documentation, serving as the representative at any interviews, and responding to follow-up requests for additional documentation;
- communication with the nursing home to help facilitate a smooth transition to Medicaid coverage; and
- staying involved in the case throughout the entire process.
If you anticipate a transition into long-term nursing care for yourself or a loved one, we recommend meeting with an experienced attorney in our office to discuss your individual circumstances.
Dave Kammer has been assisting clients with their nursing home Medicaid planning and qualification since 2009, and is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. and ElderCounsel.
For more information, see Types of Nursing Home Medicaid Planning and Frequently Asked Questions about Nursing Home Medicaid Planning.
What to bring to your first Medicaid planning meeting:
- Completed Medicaid Planning Information Form (PDF)
- Information on all assets and income
- Deeds to any real estate
- Copy of power of attorney
- Overall health status and prognosis
- Date of admission to a nursing home
- List of any gifts or other asset transfers in the last 60 months