After years of being in practice, it would seem as though Senior Elder Attorney Frank Dudeck has heard or seen almost every mistake in the book. In the following passages are a few examples of the many mistakes families either don’t know they are making or were misinformed when making.
Many families believe that a Will or Revocable Living Trust will protect their loved ones, however, that just isn’t the case. Assets left in a Will or Revocable Living Trust
Assets in a will or revocable living trust are not protected and must be used to pay for the costs of long-term care.
Your home is exempt, but not protected, when applying Medicaid. If you transfer your home to your children, not only will it result in immediate ineligibility for Medicaid, but it could also:
- Trigger a gift tax,
- Result in the loss of your homestead tax exemption,
- Result in a capital gains tax if your children later sell the home, and,
- Result in your child’s spouse (the in-laws) inheriting your home. (regardless of divorce)
Giving your assets away means losing control. It’s not safe even if you “trust” who you give it to. If that person divorces, goes through bankruptcy or issued, all of the money you transferred is at risk. There are asset protection trust that permits you to keep 100% control of your assets without the risk of losing them if long-term care is needed.
You do not have to wait 60 months to qualify for Medicaid. Eligibility is calculated on a case-by-case basis. It is possible to have over $100,000 in cash and qualify immediately. Get professional advice and learn the facts.
It is never to late to protect your assets even if you are already in a nursing home. In fact,
It is never to late to protect your assets even if you are already in the nursing home. In fact, you can qualify for Medicaid sooner if you are already in a nursing home than if you aren’t.
A nursing home or hospital that offers to file a Medicaid application for you has no obligation (and often can’t) advise you on how to protect your assets. Only a qualified Medicaid planning attorney can give you the proper legal advice on how to protect your assets.
Applying for Medicaid prior to qualification could result in being disqualified for a longer period of time than you otherwise would have been (it’s not limited to just 60 months).
Make sure the attorney you hire is experienced in Medicaid planning. Would you go to your regular doctor for a heart problem?
Consider long-term care insurance. An annual premium for a couple is usually less expensive than one month of nursing home care and with proper planning; it may also enable you to stay home if you become ill.
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