MICHIGAN ASSET PRESERVATION AND MEDICAID PLANNING
As life expectancies and long term care costs continue to rise, the challenge quickly becomes how to pay for these services. Few people can afford to pay $8,300 or more each month for the cost of nursing home care, and most of those who can pay find that their life savings have been depleted in a short time.
"Why do I need an Elder Care Attorney or Elder Law Attorney? Can I use my long time attorney for elder estate planning?" If you had a heart condition; would you go to your general practitioner or would you seek the advice of a cardiologist? Even the best intentioned attorneys can inadvertently give bad advice on the issues surrounding Elder Care, and other aspects of elder law, as they are generally ill-equipped to assess the situation in the event of a catastrophic medical event or disability. Standard estate planning rules do not apply to protection of assets from the State of Michigan when such benefits like Medicaid are needed.
It is crucial to evaluate when a loved one will be eligible before filing any Medicaid Application. If you do not understand the rules, the information so innocently volunteered could result in a denial and a longer period of ineligibility than necessary. The Medicaid application process is riddled with rules and pitfalls that the layman often times is unaware of. Therefore, it is never recommended that a Medicaid application be filed before seeking legal advice or representation of an Elder Care Attorney or Elder Law Attorney.
"What is Asset Preservation?" Asset preservation will vary from client to client because it is based upon the personal circumstances and goals of each, individual client. For some, the need to protect their assets against falling into Probate is enough. However, when you reach retirement age, your goals should shift and the need to protect assets from disability or catastrophic illness should move to the forefront. Our elder law specialists will help to eliminate the confusion.
A standard revocable living family trust is private, efficient and can minimize taxation. Assets placed in a living trust may transfer upon the death of the trustee, passing to the spouse, children or other heirs without going through the public process of probate. A revocable family trust is commonly included in an estate plan as an asset preservation strategy to combat estate taxes and the costs associated with probate. However, a revocable family trust WILL NOT PROTECT ASSETS FROM MEDICAID OR ESTATE RECOVERY PROCEDURES.
The Benefits of Early Medicaid Planning- Planning in advance is key to protecting the highest percentage of your assets, and is therefore important for elders, the disabled, and everyone, regardless of age. The government currently has a five-year look-back and penalty on resource transfers/gifts after February 8, 2006. You should never try to do Medicaid planning yourself. You should seek the advice of a qualified elder law attorney or the government could undo your transfers and you will end up losing the assets you tried to protect. Their fees are a minimal percentage of what they can legally protect.
When a catastrophic medical incident occurs, there are only two ways to become eligible under the Medicaid rules and regulations. The Government’s way; or our way. Our team can assist you in understanding the current rules so that you will not be forced to unnecessarily spend down in a manner that is not consistent with your overall legacy plans. If you wait until a crisis hits, or you are admitted to a nursing home, our lawyers can still protect some of your estate; however, if you start planning earlier, you can legally protect far more.
Our office offers free seminars to explain long term care, and asset preservation planning or we can speak before your civic group on this subject. Please call our offices for upcoming seminar dates or complete a seminar request form and fax or email it to us.
ELDER CARE AND ACCREDITED VETERANS ATTORNEYS
We can assist you in all of your long term care planning needs:
- Asset Protection & Management
- Elder Law
- Elderly Crisis Management
- Elder Abuse- physical, mental, emotional, and financial exploitation
- Estate Administration and Disputes (Will Contests)
- Estate Planning - Will & Trust Attorneys
- Long Term Care Planning
- Medicaid Planning
- Powers of Attorney
- Designation of Patient Advocate
- Revocable and Irrevocable Living Trusts
- Maximization of income and assets
- Make application for governmental benefits
- Veterans Benefits
- Understand what to do after a loved one passes away
Successfully planning for the long term care of either yourself, spouse, or an aging parent brings with it a sense of relief and liberation from the uncertainty of what may happen in the years ahead. At The Woods Law Offices, our extensive experience and thorough working knowledge of all aspects of long term care planning allows us to help you make the arrangements that best fit your circumstances and give you peace of mind for the future. Please call for your free consultation 586.532.8970 or click here for more contact information, please indicate your status as a UAW, or FOP member.
Contact Woods Law Office today for all of your Michigan elder law and Michigan elder care needs. You can also contact us with your veteran benefits in Michigan questions. We are located in Shelby Township, Michigan.
Woods Elder Law - Veteran's Law - Shelby Township, MI