Asset Protection Against Medicaid – Crisis Planning
Massachusetts Crisis Planning Attorney
Inevitably, some seniors will not have an opportunity to engage in advance asset protection planning. If you or your loved one is in a nursing home, or you think one of you may need to go very soon, you must remember that crisis asset protection planning is available.
Our goal in crisis planning is to preserve and protect as much income and assets as permissible under the law for the benefit of the senior in crisis (and the spouse if married).
One of the challenges of crisis planning is overcoming the false presumption that seniors and their families have that it is too late to engage in asset protection planning.
The Myths of Crisis Medicaid (MassHealth) Planning
It’s too late for me to start planning: False
It’s very important to remember that it is never too late to create a plan that aims at protecting your assets. In a lot of cases, staff at nursing homes will tell seniors and their families that in order to qualify for Medicaid (MassHealth) benefits, the senior needs to spend-down all their money on the nursing home beforehand. Unfortunately, far too many people take this to be true, which results in a huge gain for the nursing home but unnecessary spending of a senior’s hard-earned assets. As you can imagine, this is not a technique we suggest here at Curley Law Firm LLP.
The nursing home will do my MassHealth Application for free: False
Nursing homes often tell people that they will do the Medicaid (MassHealth) application for free or for some low fee of a few hundred dollars, but it’s important to understand that there is a huge catch. The catch is that in order to get the free or reduced cost, you will need to spend down all of your savings before they will do the application for “free.” In the end, this may leave you in a far worse financial situation than you anticipated, which is why it is not advised by experienced elder law attorneys.
I have too much money; I will never qualify for Medicaid (MassHealth): False
Eligibility for Medicaid (MassHealth) benefits depends on numerous factors, including your unique financial situation and circumstances, which is why it’s incredibly important not to believe in blanket statements such as the one above until you’ve spoken to a qualified elder law attorney. You deserve to know the facts so you can make an informed decision regarding asset protection and your Medicaid (MassHealth) application, and this can’t happen unless you speak to someone with in-depth knowledge and your best interests at heart.
Asset planning is illegal; it involves ‘hiding’ assets: False
Asset planning is perfectly legal and does not involve any illegal activity or hiding of assets. Just as a Certified Public Accountant can help you with tax planning to avoid unnecessary tax penalties, a skilled elder law attorney can help you take advantage of your rights under the law and properly plan for your financial future. When you work with an attorney during the Medicaid (MassHealth) application process, they disclose all planning strategies to ensure you are in adherence with the law.
Planning is unnecessary – the nursing home covers everything: False
By shielding assets and income, we can help ensure that married clients protect their spouse at home against impoverishment. For unmarried clients, we ensure that they have rainy day funds to supplement their quality of life for the rest of their lives.
The fact is that Nursing Homes do not cover all of the needs of our clients. Our clients in Nursing Homes enjoy a much higher quality of life than those residents who failed to save assets.
When you apply, Medicaid (MassHealth) doesn’t count the assets in your spouse’s name: False
It’s very important to know that when you apply for Medicaid (MassHealth), all assets will be considered, including any assets owned jointly between partners and third parties – such as adult children – and all assets that are just in your name as well as just in your spouse’s name.
When you work with our experienced team, we can help you create a full inventory list of all assets that may be considered during the application process. This will help you get a full picture of your situation, which will help you make informed asset protection decisions.
Save Your Primary Residence In A Crisis
Without careful planning, Medicaid can require the sale of your home or record a lien on your home. Depending on the senior’s individual circumstances, we are often successful with saving your home. We work to prevent a forced sale or prevent a lien where possible. The key is that you take swift action to engage our expertise on your side.
Mobilize Our Team If You Are In Crisis
With three attorneys and four paralegals, we our uniquely positioned to immediately mobilize our team and resources to help you in a crisis.
Many clients come to us when an elder is hospitalized or already in a nursing home for rehab or long-term care. Sometimes the elder is already paying privately for nursing home care (often more than $400 per day!). They assume wrongly that the elder must spend down their assets on private nursing home costs. With our careful planning, we can stop the private pay to the nursing home, protect assets for the elder’s benefit, and qualify the elder for Medicaid to pay the nursing home costs. Time is of the essence – that is why our team of attorney specialists can best serve you.