living will vs. healthcare proxy

Co-Authored by Joanna C. Feldman, Esq. Long-term care insurance can be a great arrow in one’s quiver of tools when planning for the future.  But long-term care insurance premiums can be expensive, or, possibly more importantly, the coverage can be capped in a variety of ways. Many long-term care insurance (“LTCI”) policies have a maximum…

How long does a Medicaid home care application take? What is the process?

by Salvatore M. Di Costanzo, Esq., and Joanna C. Feldman, Esq. An application for Medicaid benefits to cover home care services is less complicated than an application for coverage for nursing home care, which requires submission of a full financial history for the previous five years. A Medicaid home care application requires submission of a…

While you generally do not have to sell your home in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, it is possible the state can file a claim against your house after you die, so you may want to take steps to protect your house. 

Caring for an ailing family member is difficult work, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be unpaid work. There are programs available that allow Medicaid recipients to hire family members as caregivers. 

Powerless Power of Attorney

The Power of Attorney (“POA”) and Statutory Gifts Rider (“SGR”) are two of the most important documents drafted by an elder law attorney.  The absence of or deficiencies in these documents increases the likelihood of the need to commence a costly guardianship proceeding to be able to implement many common elder law planning techniques necessary…

Traditionally, Medicaid has paid for long-term care in a nursing home, but because most individuals would rather be cared for at home and home care is cheaper, all 50 states now have Medicaid programs that offer at least some home care. 

One of the most unfortunate situations in my practice is when I hear that someone spent most, if not all, of their assets on the cost of a nursing home or home care aides because they believed they were ineligible for Medicaid as a result of having income and assets.  Most often it is due…

Second to the house, an individual retirement account (“IRA”) is usually the largest asset when looking into someone’s financial portfolio.  The tax and Medicaid rules dealing with IRAs are very different yet related, quite complex and often misinterpreted or misapplied.   It is important to have a general understanding of these rules in order to avoid…

A Medicaid Trust is an irrevocable trust designed to protect your assets from the staggering costs of long-term care, usually nursing home care. You will be pleased to know that while the trust is irrevocable, many bells and whistles can be included in the trust, which give you a great degree of control. In fact,…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman To be eligible for Medicaid benefits in a nursing home in 2018, one may have no more than $15,150.00 in available assets. A life insurance policy with no cash value is not considered an available asset. If a life insurance policy has cash value, however, the cash value of the…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman Generally speaking, Medicaid rules require most of one’s monthly income be contributed toward the cost of one’s care in a nursing home. When the spouse of the Medicaid recipient remains at home, however, the impact of losing the other spouse’s additional income can be detrimental. The spouse at home (known…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman This is a question we’re continually asked, so we’re glad we have another opportunity to clear things up. The main thing to remember is this: IRS rules are different from Medicaid rules. Under current IRS rules, you may gift up to $15,000.00 to as many people as you’d like in…

We have all heard the saying “life is full of regrets”.  I have compiled a list of the most common regrets that I often hear from clients, but more often, their family members, during my practicing as an elder law and special needs planning attorney.  If you have neglected any of these topics, my hope…

Coauthored by Joanna C. Feldman We’re so glad you asked this question, which shows pervasive misinformation that causes unnecessary struggle.  Based on the facts presented, it sounds like your aunt could qualify for Medicaid, which would help pay for aides at home.  This is known as community Medicaid. To be eligible for Medicaid, one cannot have…

For many families, a good portion of their wealth exists through the equity in their home.  The home may also be the most sentimental asset as it carries many memories and emotional ties.  We often counsel clients on different planning techniques to protect the home where Medicaid is contemplated to pay for nursing home or…

The legal wing of the AARP is suing a California nursing home that refused to readmit a resident whom the nursing home had sent to the hospital. The nursing home's actions are part of growing trend of resident dumping, according to the AARP.

A 529 plan is a very common planning technique used by grandparents to fund a grandchild’s college education.  Simply stated, contributions to a 529 plan grow tax-free over the life of the plan and if used for qualified tuition costs, the distributions from the plan are also tax-free. Notwithstanding the beneficial tax treatment of a…

Contrary to popular belief, it is never too late.  An elder law attorney can work to implement many different techniques even at the 11th hour to preserve assets.  What is important is that you have a relationship with an elder law attorney.  An elder law attorney can relieve some of the anxiety natural to this time…

  In a perfect world, everyone would craft an estate and elder care plan well in advance of having to implement it˗ but the world isn’t perfect!   I have had the opportunity to work on a fair amount of cases where clients, who had no estate or elder can plan, fell ill or became…

The tax plan put forward by the Republican-led House of Representatives would eliminate many current deductions, and getting rid of one of them in particular could deal a serious financial blow to seniors and individuals with disabilities.

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