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Elder Law Articles

Articles on Elder Law Topics

How Do I Preserve My Assets?

Asset Preservation Planning

 

When faced with the need for long-term care, the same fear runs through all of our minds: “What happens if I don’t have enough money to sustain me or my spouse for the rest of our lives?” We can assist you, your attorney-in-fact, or other loved ones, to help protect and preserve your assets so those assets can be used to sustain and improve your quality of life and that of your spouse. Whether you are pre-planning for care or in a long-term care crisis, we can assist you and your family in obtaining assistance, if needed, to finance the needed level of care.

When our clients find themselves in need of long-term care, such as skilled nursing or assisted living, we often advise them to consider seeking government benefits like Medicaid or Special Assistance. Medicaid benefits cover the cost of skilled nursing care, while Special Assistance benefits cover the cost of Assisted Living. For those individuals who are able to remain in their homes and receive skilled nursing care there is the PACE program, which covers the cost of in-home skilled nursing care.

In order to receive benefits under either program, an individual must apply and be found eligible to receive the benefit. Most people know that these benefits are available to individuals with less than a certain amount of “countable” resources and income. What most people don’t know is what resources are considered “countable.” Your home, for instance, isn’t considered countable. Neither is your vehicle. People also don’t know that giving their assets to their children, or even a charity, could result in their loss of benefits for a certain period of time.

The rules for eligibility change almost daily, and have become increasingly complex. There are pitfalls for the unwary, but there are also opportunities for the astute planner. We help guide clients through the eligibility process, and assist them in converting their assets from “countable” to non-countable, so that they will be eligible for Medicaid, Special Assistance, or PACE. We help prepare the complex Medicaid application and guide our client through the often lengthy approval process.

State and federal officials often deny Medicaid and Medicare benefits to which applicants are entitled. We represent clients in the confusing administrative process to secure the benefits the system is supposed to provide. Health insurers increasingly deny coverage to which beneficiaries are entitled. We intervene through advocacy and careful analysis of insurance policies to gain coverage.

Dana Wilson
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