I’m Greg McIntyre and this is the elder law report. Today I want to talk about long-term care crisis planning.
What is long-term care crisis planning?
Let me give you an example.
If a loved one, such as a spouse or parent needs assisted living or nursing home care, let’s say they are headed to care, or are already in care and lots of money is being spent down, assets are unprotected, then what do you do?
Can you activate a veteran’s benefit or Medicaid benefit to help pay? And the answer is, Yes.
That’s what it is. It’s a situation where someone needs care and we’re trying to figure out how to protect their assets. These assets could be retirement assets or your home. We’re also trying to figure out how to pay for the care.
Misconceptions versus Reality
What can you do?
A Common Misconception
You Cannot Protect Assets.
This is totally untrue.
In most cases, most assets can be protected. We can protect close to one hundred percent of the assets if we are given the chance to do so.
Many people think they must spend all their money on care and lose their home before they can get help. This is not true. My job is to see which assets we can save and what benefits we can access to pay for care. There is rarely a situation where we cannot save the assets, and we try and save as close to one hundred percent of the assets as possible.
Just don’t listen to street lawyers, the word on the street, because it’s usually wrong.
Patient Monthly Liability (PML)
What this means is, a person’s income needs to be paid to an assisted living or nursing home facility because Medicaid will only pay for the portion the income doesn’t pay for. This can be quite a shock to people.
The Community Spouse
This is a program for the (healthy) spouse, where they may be able to keep a portion of their spouse’ income so they can keep paying the house payments and living expenses.
Assets versus Income
This can help if you are confused about what constitutes an asset versus an income.
Assets are everything you have already made, the money you have already accumulated. Such as, your house, car, bank account, retirement account, 401k, IRA, stocks, bonds, annuities.
Income is your job income, social security income, pension income, things you cannot liquidate, money you get once a month.
That differentiates assets versus income.
What do you need to do when you come and see us?
What do you need to do to put in an application?
Our goal is to come up with a plan to protect your hard-earned money and property. We also want to help you pick a benefit to access if you don’t have long-term care insurance.
When you come and see us, bring your financial documents. It helps us to have that information so we can better help you when we present your application to Medicaid. We want to show Medicaid what we have presented to them works under their rules.
So, plan ahead, this is so important.
To get way ahead of the crowd, get your foundational documents in order, General Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, Will.
If you have questions about long-term care crisis planning, foundational planning, pre-planning, or long-term care insurance, call our office at 704-259-7040 or visit mcelderlaw.com and sign up for our e-newsletter.
Elder Law Attorney
Elder Law Attorney