Medicaid… Did You Know?
Did you know the Medicaid Rules have dramatically changed?
Did you know that Gifts could disqualify you for five years?
Did you know the new law has made it impossible to protect your assets from nursing home costs?
Did you know the new law requires that you must wait 60 months to qualify for Medicaid if you give assets away?
Did you know the new law permits Medicaid to take your home immediately?
Did you know that if you transfer your assets you will:
- Lose control of them forever.
- Be dependent on those you transfer them to.
- Create additional taxes to those you transfer to.
- Risk losing them to your children’s bankruptcy, Lawsuits, or to your children’s spouses in divorce.
- Lose significant tax advantages.
- Risk becoming ineligible for Medicaid for 60 months or more.
More than ever, you need to plan ahead to protect your assets from the increasing costs of long-term care.
The Top 8 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. 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, caretaker children, certain siblings and into trust for anyone who is disabled and under age 65; a transfer to a “pay-back” trust if under age 65; and a transfer to a pooled disability trust at any age.
4. Failing to take advantage of protections for the spouse of a nursing home resident.
These protections include the purchase of an immediate annuity, petitioning for an increased community spouse resource allowance, and in some instances petitioning for an increased income allowance.
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.
8. Confusion about the difference between lifetime liens on property and estate recovery.
There are a number of exceptions to lifetime liens on property, but for estate recovery there is only a deferral for a surviving spouse and a hardship waiver.
When it comes to sorting facts from fiction in estate planning, we provide leadership. We help our clients, as well as professionals in the field, create individual solutions that work. We have a variety of Seminars designed to teach fundamental estate planning concepts. “
Please contact our office at 816-554-3330 to reserve a seat for our next Medicaid and VA Planning Seminar.