Did you know the Medicaid Rules have dramatically changed? More than ever, you need to plan ahead to protect your assets from the increasing costs of long-term care.
The Top 7 Mistakes People Make with Medicaid Qualification
1. Thinking it’s too late to plan.
It’s almost never too late to take planning steps– even after a senior has moved to a nursing home.
2. Giving away assets too early.
First, it’s your money (or your house, or both). Make sure you take care of yourself first. Don’t put your security at risk by putting it in the hands of your children without careful, intentional planning. Precipitous transfers can cause difficult tax and Medicaid problems as well.
3. Ignoring important safe harbors created by Congress.
Certain transfers are allowable without jeopardizing Medicaid eligibility. These include: transfers to disabled children, and caretaker children who have lived in the home of parent(s) for at least 2 years. (Note: Both of these exceptions require strict evidence when filing a Medicaid application.)
4. Failing to take advantage of protections for the spouse of a nursing home resident.
These protections include the purchase of a Medicaid qualified immediate annuity, updating a motor vehicle, replacing worn-out personal property, and purchasing of burial plans.
5. Applying for Medicaid too early.
This can result in a longer ineligibility period in some instances.
6. Applying for Medicaid too late.
This can mean the loss of many months of eligibility.
7. Not getting expert help.
This is a complicated field that most people deal with only once in their lives. Tens of thousands of dollars are at stake. It’s usually well-worth the investment to consult with an elder law attorney who makes his or her living guiding clients through the process.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by the Law Office of Aaron Love, PC. Upcoming events for the community can be found at www.aaronlovelaw.com. The Choice of an attorney is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.