Elder Law

We serve the specialized planning needs of individuals and families facing long term care expenses and Medicaid acceptance. We take time to fully understand your personal and family goals, your values, and your desire for care.

There are certain benefits that we expect to provide to every client, though the details of design and implementation vary widely.

 

These benefits include:

  • Solidifying control over your long term care expenses

  • Assuring the continuance of your lifestyle

  • Planning for your personal and financial care in the event of disability

  • Protecting the home

  • Asset protection - savings and investments

  • Reducing family stress

  • Avoiding Medicaid spend-down

  • Trust planning and administration

  • Probate planning and avoidance

  • Pro-active planning

  • Crisis Medicaid planning

  • Managing the cost of long term care

  • Guardianships Administration

  • Medicaid planning

  • Medicaid applications

Crisis Planning

Crisis planning is needed if a medical emergency strikes and you or a loved one require immediate nursing home care.  In this case, we provide immediate assistance to a Medicaid applicant in preparation for their Medicaid application.  Medicaid is often the only option for individuals to use to pay for their nursing home costs.  Without proper crisis planning, an individual may have to spend down the majority of their financial assets to qualify. With our guidance, we can help with the complicated re-allocation of a person’s financial assets.  Gaining Medicaid eligibility for long term care expenses is extremely complicated and if not done properly, can result in an applicant being denied.

 

Asset Protection

Many individuals and families do not fully understand their options when it comes to protecting their assets while planning for long term care expenses. You have worked your whole life and saved. It is important that you consult with a qualified asset protection attorney who can advise you on the best way to structure your assets for maximum protection. Our planning recommendations may include the use of trusts, transfer of assets to loved ones, the purchase of annuities or other asset protection strategies that result in significant financial savings for you and your loved ones.

Long Term Planning and Medicaid

Medicaid planning is proactive nursing home planning designed to position a person to qualify for Medicaid benefits before they need them. Often called long term care planning, this type of planning is most effective when done as far in advance as possible. This is because Medicaid eligibility requirements include a five-year “lookback” period when elder law planning that includes asset transfers and gifts are counted against you for purposes becoming Medicaid qualified. We can help. Through our long term care planning process we can show you the steps to take to preserve your assets and qualify for Medicaid.

Caregiver Agreement

A caregiver agreement legal document used by Connecticut families to preserve their financial assets before applying for Medicaid. Oftentimes, prior to needing nursing home care, a person will rely on the help of loved ones to assist with cleaning, paying bills, transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and other personal care. Without a contract between the person requiring care and a loved one providing assistance, any payments made for care will be considered a gift, and will be used to create a penalty period of ineligibility for Medicaid. This is because Medicaid eligibility rules do not allow any gifts being given within the five-year period prior to a person’s Medicaid application date. A properly drafted caregiver agreement will protect the applicant by making sure that payments made to the caregiver do not cause a delay in Medicaid eligibility.

Elder Law Newsletter

 

The Value of Using Irrevocable Trusts in Medicaid Planning  

Volume 3, Issue 4

People often wonder about the value of using irrevocable trusts in Medicaid planning. Certainly gifting of assets can be done outright, not involving an irrevocable trust. Outright gifts have the advantages of being simple to do with minimal costs involved, including the cost of preparing and recording deeds and the cost of preparing and filing a gift tax return. Many financial institutions have their own documents they use for changing ownership of assets so there are typically no out-of-pocket costs for the transferor.

So, why complicate things with a trust? Why not just keep the planning as simple and inexpensive as possible? The short answer is that gift transaction costs are only part of what needs to be considered. Many important benefits that can result from gifting in trust are forfeited by outright gifting. These benefits are what give value to using irrevocable trusts in Medicaid planning.

© 2020

(203) 655-7200

Mary Keating Esq, LLC

23 Old Kings Highway South

Darien, CT 06820

www.MKeatingLaw.com

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