We’re talking crisis. We’re going to get down and dirty today.
We had a new article come out in the ‘Shelby Shopper’ this month called, ‘Are wills obsolete?’ I know a lot of people are talking about that, and the real problems with the probate and wills process okay.
And we’re going to talk about that today, really centered around Medicaid planning, which is Medicaid Crisis Planning.
Are Wills Obsolete?
What happens if you find yourself a spouse, a mum or a dad, or a family member in a crutch where they’re
headed to a nursing home, or in a nursing home, or assisted living facility, and money is being spent down like crazy, it’s being thrown away like water.
What do you do?
Well, you come to me.
There’s crisis everywhere at the moment? It’s a blood red market right now. The Dow is down 300 points, crisis, panic, panic. That’s really troubling for a lot of retirees.
People have worked hard to acquire things and you don’t want to just give them up or lose them in the end, or at some point in the future.
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My grandfather always planned and saved so he could leave something to his children, so he could help them start out on their own. And my father always saved and invested.
We all want to leave a better lot in life for our children, give them a leg up. I think that’s just human nature, don’t you?
It’s something a lot of people don’t think about.
They don’t think about it because they don’t realize what they can do. They also don’t know what will happen if they don’t do certain things to protect their assets.
This is something people should pay close attention to, because knowledge is power. If you don’t know what you don’t know, you can’t make the best decisions for your future.
That’s why you need to come and consult with someone who knows, like myself, like the people at our office.
Why is all this important to seniors?
A lot of us have invested in the stock market, and 401Ks and IRAs that are going up and down like a rollercoaster.
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You’re watching your retirement go down but you know it always comes back up eventually, it’ll bounce back, you can’t afford to panic right? We’re in it for the long haul.
But what else can make your retirement disappear?
It’s something much faster than the stock market.
Going into a nursing home is going to cost you somewhere around $50’000 to $75’000 to $100’000. That’s probably a lot more than you’ll lose on a 300 point drop on the stock market.
Watch that money disappear at a clip of $75’000 to $100’000 every year, year after year after year. That’s when I’m sitting with someones wife who is crying and upset because she believes she is going to be poor and destitute because of a long term health care situation that her husband has. Perhaps he has early onset dementia.
The sad thing is, they both worked their whole lives, just hard workers who worked to build their retirement, and it’s just disappearing like water over a waterfall. And it’s not their fault.
The Money Situation
This elder couple have paid out 40 to 50 cent on every dollar they’ve earned through income tax and from sales tax.
They pay 3 times what it cost to buy their house from the interest over 30 years on their mortgage. So, if they paid $100’000 when they bought their house, they end up paying the bank $250’000 to $300’000.
Then in order to access a benefit like Medicaid for long term care, they have to spend down all the money from the 50 cents they got to keep, their dollars, and are potentially forced to sell their property or have a lien placed on their house, or taken away if it goes through a will or passes by a will. (??)
That is why you should read my article ‘Are Wills Obsolete,’ because that’s where liens are attached, that’s where that Medicaid lien attaches and takes that away from your family and from going to your children. That’s a college education for a grandchild right there.
I don’t like that in our system. I can’t reconcile that everyone doesn’t agree with me on those points.
Look, from my perspective you really have to get behind your clients position, you have to get those blinders on and be just die hard loyal to that person and their position. And that’s how I view my job.
The client in the hot seat is a senior, and I’m helping them have as many health care options as possible. I’m helping them if it’s a couple or family, protect their hard earned assets they worked their entire lives to get, and keep those assets in their control.
I hear a lot about what age should you start giving away your property or your land?
The normal person would say about 60 to 65.
The real answer is, absolutely never. NEVER.
A hundred percent, a hundred and fifty percent never ever ever ever ever should you give your property away. Maybe that’s the way our programs and our legislature have set things up but their wrong. And the system is wrong. And we need to fix it.
You do all that, and then?
In the end you access the health benefit to help pay for long term care. That’s the same benefit that is causing all your assets to disappear. That’s the 50 cents on the dollar you got to keep, and the house that you paid 3 times as much for to the bank, you’ve got to give all that away in order to access that same benefit.
And who paid for that benefit in the first place? You did, with that other 50 cents that was taken away in taxes. And that’s the position that I take.
I am talking here about an emergency and crisis situation but I’ll lead into that by talking about wills.
So, what is a will?
It’s a document that’s created that designates, when you pass away, where your property is to go and/or to whom.
When you take a will to the court house to probate it, you have to wait a 90 day waiting period, whether it’s a small or regular sized estate, and possibly publish that in the paper to give the public notice and wait 90 days before you can do anything.
Why do they do that? Why do you open up that 90 day waiting period?
It’s in case you owe money to someone, if you have creditors or something.
If you don’t have a will, don’t worry, the laws of NC already has a program set up to pass all your property any way the state sees fit.
I’m sure everyone trusts the state to pass that property the way you would want right?
No absolutely not.
It benefits people to know how the state will administer your estate. Usually it’s a pretty fair deal. The state is usually going to split it up equally among kids. The problem comes in if there’s a spouse. It could pin the children and the spouse fighting against one another for assets.
In a family where there are step fathers, step mothers, step brothers, or step sisters, it just gets crazy.
I’m going to be really clear. The state is doing what it can to anticipate a fair way, or try to think of a fair way to distribute your assets. But it might not be your way.
You may want your wife to get everything. You may want your children to get everything. You may want a church to get a portion, or a charity but it’s not necessarily going to happen that way. It’s rare that it happens just the way you want it to, unless you draft a will.
Why would Medicaid have to come in and pay for long term care for someone who requires nursing home or assisted living care?
This happens if you have exhausted your Medicare.
How long will Medicare pay?
And what happens after 20 days?
If you have a supplemental, it will pay up to 80 days. So 100 days in all if you have a supplemental. So you have a very short period of time from the time you actually walk into a facility, until the time you begin paying out of pocket, or your long term care insurance kicks in, if you have it. If you don’t have it, you should try to get it.
Why should you have a long term care policy? And why is this such a big issue?
What are the odds that people over 65 years old are going to need some form of long term care?
According to the current statistics, it’s just around 70%. 70 percent of seniors. That’s frightening.
Medicaid Crisis Planning Seminar
That’s why I do a hard core Medicaid crisis planning seminars that you need to come and see. I’m giving seminars this year. I’m giving 6 in Cleveland County on Medicaid crisis Planning.
They are going to be limited to between 5 and 20 seats or 5 to 20 couples. If you want to come to a Medicaid crisis planning seminar we have one in February.
You have to qualify for these seminars. You have to have a loved one going into nursing home or assisted living long term care. We are going to sit down and talk about the secrets of Medicaid crisis planning.
You can save your money and property of your loved one and your family.
It could be a person whose parent is headed to or in a nursing home or assisted living facility, and their parents assets are quickly disappearing. It could be a wife or husband who is scared because all their retirement is rapidly going away.
And they’re scared because they have been told they can only keep $2000. Well that’s not true.
Generally a healthy spouse can keep $119,220 under the current rules in their name, or the community spouse as they’re called.
The person receiving care can keep around $2000 or less in their name. But we can save more than that.
There are strategies that can be employed, and there are spend downs that can be used correctly. That’s what we need to take a look at.
There is strategic deed planning, we talked about Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts last week in part 1 of this show, but moving on to a crisis, there is deed planning even in a crisis. There are Ladybird deeds we can employ to save property right now and avoid the 5 year look back period.
These are the things we need to talk about. And these are the things we will get down and dirty about at our Medicaid Crisis Planning seminars.
You need to see an attorney who knows about long term care and Medicaid and special assistance Medicaid.
For those who would like to call and talk about how to save your money and property, call my office and sit down with me for a free consult. Just mention you heard me on the radio show ‘The Elder Law Report.’
Our number at the office is 704 259 7040.
I’m Greg McIntyre, the elder law guy, lawyer Greg, and I have a firm called McIntyre Elder Law, that’s what we do.
We help seniors protect their assets and legacies.
Call me if you have any questions:
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby