If you are planning to receive nursing home care you must know that the rules of medicaid are very complex, and they are constantly changing, so in most cases, for elders over the age of 65, it’s very important to retain a qualified nursing home planner in the elder law field. Also it’s important to find someone that is good at getting these cases done in a considerable amount of time because the time frame for medicaid cases are very short. Now even though it’s advised to have a qualified personnel help you with nursing home planning, it is your choice if you would rather get your family member or someone close to you to help instead. Just keep in mind when you make piecemeal actions on your own, you are at risk of causing an unchangeable disaster.
The reason why it’s such a risky move, is because Medicaid Officials subject such applications (applications filled out by an unqualified person) to intense scrutiny. They do so by requiring up to 5 years of financial documentation and records of every fact to be submitted. If for any reason, you make a mistake or have an unexplained expense, it may result in a disqualification. Not to mention, mass amounts of planning steps (transfers to family, trusts, family care agreements) are also viewed as suspect unless properly explained.
So if you feel that you want to take the next step of retaining a lawyer to assist you with your nursing home planning take a look at our suggested questions to ask when screening a Care Assistance Planner:
Question 1: Can you use a revocable living trust to qualify for medicaid/care assistance?
- Best Answer: “It depends.”
- Horrible Answer #1: “Yes, anything you put into a revocable trust is exempt from a medicaid spend down.”
- Horrible Answer #2: “No, there is no way to use a revocable living trust in the medicaid/care assistance process.”
Question #2: Shouldn’t I just gift assets right away to qualify for Medicaid/ Care Assistance?
- Best Answers: “It depends”
- Horrible Answer #1: “Yes, absolutely. If you gift everything away today, then tomorrow you can apply for medicaid and qualify.”
- Horrible Answer #2: “Absolutely not. Unless you have five years, you should never make any gifts.”
Question #3: Shouldn’t I just buy long term care insurance?
- Best Answer: “ It depends”
- Horrible answer #1: “No, Long term care insurance is just an expensive scam.”
- Horrible Answer #2: “Yes, absolutely. Get the best, longest lasting and highest payout long term care policy you can.”