Greg McIntyre: Hi. I’m Greg McIntyre at McIntyre Elder Law, welcome to the Elder Law Report and today we’re going to talk about Medicaid liens. How long-term care Medicaid or special assistance pays for nursing home or assisted living care can attach a lien to your estate, what that means? Because I hear all the time Brenton. My law partner Brenton Begley has joined me. Hey Brenton, how are you doing this morning?
Brenton Begley: Fantastic.
Greg McIntyre: Good. So I hear it all the time. You know, I don’t want Medicaid to take my house, I don’t want the nursing home to take my house but it doesn’t exactly work like that. And I want to clarify exactly how it does work. And so Brenton can Medicaid just if they come in and pay for nursing home care for me and hopefully not anytime soon, can they just take my house?
Brenton Begley: Not they have to number one, they can’t take away your living at all. And then number two, they gotta wait till after you pass away. There are a few exceptions even then you know if there’s a spouse still living in the house there’s a disabled child still living in the house or the Medicaid debts under $5,000 or if there’s some type of undue hardship that would You know, result as, as far as, you know, the folks living in the home, maybe a dependent living in the home, something like that. If Medicaid were to place leaning against the property for sale, the property, something like that but even then the limited to assets that go through probate. So if the home is going through probate, that’s when they can go after the home, but it’s a multi-step process to go after that home. Even then. So the kind of sum that up now, they can’t take the home, just come in to take it, especially not during your life. They have to wait until after you’ve passed away and only then they can only go after the property. If it’s going through probate and none of the exceptions listed before that applies.
Greg McIntyre: So, the three rules of avoiding long-term care, Medicaid lien. A lane associated with long-term care assisted living with our nursing home care. The first rule is to avoid probate with passing your assets. That’s the first rule. So, secondly, how do we protect the assets? Because you know what Brenton? They’re not going to qualify me for long-term care. Medicaid, unless I have two thousand dollars in assets, one house, and one car, right? And how do I avoid Losing my house? How do I hang on to the money? You know, how do I do that? And not taken.
Brenton Begley: Well. Yeah, well, one of the best ways to both avoid probate and help you qualify for benefits to pay for long-term care. So utilize something like a trust. You know, that’s why I trust is such good tools because hey, you know, you can use one tool to accomplish both goals, solve, both sides of the equation if you will. It’s kind of like an algebra problem or just don’t like math. That’s why we became lawyers but we still have to solve these intricate legal problems that are sometimes set up logically like algebra problems.
Greg McIntyre: I love math
Greg McIntyre: I love math I’m good. So yeah.
Brenton Begley: Situation were solving both sides of the equation.
Brenton Begley: Number one, the ability to qualify for care during your life. Number two, the ability to protect the assets even after you passed away. So, Medicaid, or the nursing home or any other creditor can’t come after the property or money.
Greg McIntyre: Sure, sure. So trust can work a ladybird deed on your home can work for the home, right? There’s lots of different ways to solve that problem that puzzle, right? And, and to get that done, right? So let’s say I’ve avoided probate protected, my assets because I have my money in an irrevocable trust where I’m still the lifetime income beneficiary, I can still get income and I protected my house with a ladybird deed right. All of which is allowable under the Medicaid Rules for long-term Care Medicaid. And you know man I’m I feel like I’m set up pretty good. What else do I need to do? I’ve got to apply and get qualified so I’ve got it avoid probate Protect my assets in a way that complies with the benefits program. and then I have to apply and get approved, right?
Brenton Begley: That’s right.
Greg McIntyre: How do I get approved, If I’ve done all this legal work over here, or there is Medicaid, or that is Department of Health Demon services is DSS, Are they going to know what I did over here? How’s that going to work?
Brenton Begley: Yes, the thing is is that DSS the government, their gatekeepers to the benefit. And they’re not just going to hand it to you on a silver platter. Okay. So they want to make sure make darn sure that you actually qualify and they’re gonna question everything that they could possibly question. So thing is, is that the legal planning is important to make sure you qualify and make sure the assets are protected, but you have to have somebody on your side who can articulate, what’s been done and why you qualify? And why the legal work that’s been done is Medicaid compliant? so that Shakes down to. You know.
Brenton Begley: What you should do if you’re trying to apply is see an elder law attorney who is knowledgeable on Medicaid applications and have them handle that for you to streamline the process because the timing in those applications are incredibly important. You have a very large facility bill that is coming whether you like it or not and you need to make sure that Medicaid is in place to either pay going forward or retroactively pay the data qualification. And, you know, if Medicates arbitrarily setting that data qualification, they might not cover. Medicaid, might not cover a bill that had been incurred up to the point where you were qualified. So you don’t want to go into the facility incur. A bunch of debt, get Medicaid to pay, but still have a bunch of debt hanging out there even though Medicaid’s paying for the rest. So a skilled attorney who’s knowledgeable in these source of things can help with not only the qualification, not only the protection of assets but, you know, the correct timing.
Brenton Begley: Streamlining of the process. So you get qualified without having to incur, unnecessary medical debt
Greg McIntyre: Exactly. The Three Rules. To avoid long-term care. Medicaid liens. Or any kind of benefit program liens. still keep your assets and still qualify for a benefit to pay for long-term care, assisted living or nursing home care for you or your loved one could be a spouse, could be a parent Is to one. Avoid probate. Two, protect your assets in a way that complies with the Benefit Programs rules.
Greg McIntyre: And three have someone who’s either done. Number two for you. And number one, helped you avoid probate, protect the assets, have them handle the Medicaid application or the benefits application because they know what the plan is. They know why it complies? They chose the simplest most straightforward plan. They know works every single time.
Greg McIntyre: And they’re going to be able to communicate that to a social worker. So they understand it and you don’t have problems with the application. We have an entire benefits department. We have an estate planning department, both of those work together to make sure we avoid probate, protect your assets and get that application in explained and approved. So if you need help with applying for and being approved for long-term care for you or your loved one and you not or you’re not looking forward to losing all your assets or paying all those down to a facility, Give McIntyre, elder law a call.
Greg McIntyre: Call 888-999-6600 or go online to do research because myself brenton other people on our team have written some really, really good articles. If I can, I don’t say so myself and more videos like this that can help you and your family do research and Start knowing where to begin, right? And get that process going. So thank you so much. Brenton Attorney Begley for helping me, put out the three rules of applying for, and getting approved for long-term care benefits today. And we’ll see you next week on the Elder Law report.