If you’re healthy, you’ve probably never really thought about long-term care or Medicaid planning. However, statistically, the vast majority of individuals will end up needing nursing home care at some point during their lives. Some people are able to apply and qualify for Medicaid benefits without hiring an attorney to assist them.
However, there are many individuals who could greatly benefit from having an elder law attorney guide them in creating and implementing a long-term care or Medicaid plan. Below are a few situations where you might want to consider hiring an elder law attorney:
1. If you are in immediate need of full-time nursing home care, have more than $15,000 in countable assets, and need Medicaid benefits to help pay for your care, it might be worthwhile to hire an experienced elder law attorney to assist you. Your attorney can complete your Medicaid application and serve as a liaison with the state Medicaid office and nursing home facility. This move can improve your chances of preserving as many assets as possible as well as increasing your chances of receiving all Medicaid benefits for which you might be eligible.
2. If you are living at home and your spouse requires full-time nursing care in a facility, an attorney can help expedite the Medicaid application process to reduce costs. Additionally, an attorney can show you ways to protect your financial interests so that you can live more comfortably at home and not feel the need to spend all of your assets down on your spouse’s care.
3. If you and your spouse both require care, hiring an experienced attorney to help with the Medicaid application process and spenddown rules can save your adult children time, money and stress.
4. If you and your spouse are healthy and not in need of immediate care, an elder law attorney can provide you with long-term care planning advice that can help you avoid missing time-sensitive asset protection opportunities.
How much will an elder law attorney cost? In most situations, attorney’s fees rarely exceed the cost of one to two months of long-term nursing home care.
For more information on long-term care planning and Medicaid issues, please contact Davis & McCann, P. A., Dodge City, KS. We are members of Wealth Counsel, a national consortium of Estate Planning Attorneys and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). We focus our practice on providing clients with the best legal advice on Estate Planning, Medicaid and Long-term Care Planning, Family Business/Small Business Succession Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Real Estate Transactions, and related matters.
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