Category Archives: Nursing Home Planning

Is divorce a good solution if my spouse goes into a nursing home?

By Attorney Nathan Simpson

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 12.45.07 PMMany clients come into the office asking if their only option when faced with a catastrophic medical situation is divorce. They have heard that this is the only way to not be required to spend everything in the Nursing Home. Thankfully, that isn't the only way. While there may be a rare case where divorce is the best option, for the vast majority of people there are more palatable ways to protect assets from a Nursing Home spend down. Through strategic use of the rules relating to Medicaid and Veterans Benefits, an elder law attorney can protect assets without resorting to divorce.

Additionally, Medicaid rules even have special exemptions and benefits that only apply to married couples. Hastily filing for divorce in a Nursing Home situation can eliminate your eligibility for these benefits, and actually harm you financially. The best course of action when facing long term care expenses is not to call your divorce attorney. The best plan is to talk to an Ohio Elder Law attorney, and schedule a free consultation to create a plan that protects your assets, qualifies you for benefits, and does not force you into any unnecessary legal proceedings.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home

By Lori McBride

Over the past few months, we have been rolling out a new seminar to help education seniors and their families throughout Ohio, most recently in Chillicothe, Johnstown and Delaware. Here are some of the topics:

  • In a Nursing Home NOW? …. You may still protect your assets
  • Hidden Medical Taxes
  • New Rules for Assisted Living Waiver
  • Can You Give Away $14,000/Year Without a Medicaid Penalty?
  • Veteran's Benefits to Cover Healthcare Costs
  • Medicaid Planning for Home Care Coverage
  • ​Will you lose your home to Estate Recovery?

Certified Elder Law Specialists Thom Cooper and Mitch Adel will be holding a series of workshops informing Seniors that it's never too late to preserve and protect your assets. For a list of upcoming workshops in your area, please call me, Lori McBride at 1-877-401-2175 for more information.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

What is the Lookback Period?

by Michelle Mason

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.33.21 PMMedicaid has its own language and the Lookback Period is one of those Medicaid terms that causes a great deal of confusion.

The Look back Period refers to the five-year period prior to the first date when you entered a long-term care facility and applied for Ohio Medicaid assistance.

The Lookback Period is actually an audit period – a time period when the State of Ohio can audit what you've done with your money to see if you have have given away (“gifted”) any of your money, deeds, titled property or other assets. Assets that you gave away before the Lookback Period are not counted.

If you made gifts during the Lookback Period, you are normally required to wait before Medicaid will pay your benefits based on the size of the gift you made. Bigger gifts create longer periods before the State will pay – this is sometimes called a penalty period. The penalty period can be long (yes, it can be longer than 5 years) or short depending on when made the gift and several other factors. There are exceptions to the rules … it's complicated.

You cannot hide money. You cannot lie about what you did with your assets. However, you can legally work with their rules, just like you do with your taxes, to make the best of the situation.

Attorney Cooper asks our clients a simple question: If you knew it would take five years to plan to protect your money from a nursing home spenddown, when should you start to plan? The answer is now!

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Does my trust protect me from nursing home costs?

By Attorney Nathan Simpson

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 11.46.16 AMThis is one of the most common questions we hear from new clients. Despite what many believe, the answer is almost always the following: No. The trusts that most attorneys prepare are Revocable Living Trusts. These can be powerful documents to avoid probate, guardianships, and to save on death taxes. However, they are not Nursing Home-protected trusts. In fact, if used incorrectly, these trusts can make it harder to qualify for Nursing Home benefits, and can be result in a much larger spenddown than would otherwise be required.

Only a highly specialized trust can provide Nursing Home protection. There are many types of these trusts for different assets, but the best ones will not only provide Nursing Home protection, but will allow for flexibility in the future and for preserving important tax advantages.

A Revocable Living Trust can be a valuable tool for many people, but it is not a one size fits all solution. What is needed is a Life Plan that incorporates tax, nursing home, and probate planning to create a comprehensive solution.

If you would like to see if your trust is Nursing Home protected, and beginning developing a Life Plan for you and your family, please contact the elder law attorneys at Cooper, Adel & Associates today.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

The never ending Nursing Home process

by Jess LoPiccolo

Every month, our firm makes many benefits applications. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the applications approved and the client on benefits. Our client must compile 5 years of financial statements then we review each statement and the county reviews them, looking for any gifts that have been made in the past 5 years. The benefits application process usually takes from one to three months, sometimes shorter and sometimes longer. All of the hard work and time put into an application is well worth it when our client's application is approved and they are able to get the help they need, and in some cases, protect some of the assets or money that they have worked their whole lifetime to accumulate.

The initial application is the hardest part, but it is not the end of the road for Medicaid recipients. Every year, Medicaid requires an annual medicaid reapplication. It is like a review. It is not as time-consuming nor does it require the Medicaid recipient to provide as much information and paperwork as the initial application. At the annual Medicaid reapplication the county only needs updated financial statements, income and health insurance premium amounts. This process is done once a year, usually around the same time every year, during the lifetime of the Medicaid recipient.

When the Medicaid recipient passes away, the Medicaid process is still not over. There is a program called Medicaid Estate Recovery. This is where the States tries to recoup monies that were paid out by Medicaid, for care of the Medicaid recipient.

Here at Cooper, Adel and Associates, we have a Medicaid team dedicated to making applications and reapplications easier for our clients. Please call our office if you or a loved are interested in learning more about Medicaid or Estate Recovery in Ohio.

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

The Sobering Reality of the Long-Term Care Situation Facing Baby Boomers

By Julian Guilfoyle

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”   ~Mark Twain

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 8.44.13 AMThe long-term care situation inherited by baby boomers presents a grim and worrisome reality. In addition to the emotional burdens faced by spouses and children, the financial burden is simply devastating for most Americans and their families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted a study of long-term care in America and some of its’ findings are particularly noteworthy. They found that more than 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 would require long-term services at some point in their lives. Forty percent of Americans who reach age 65 will require a nursing home stay with twenty percent of those requiring long-term care for longer than five years. When required, the average cost of a private room is $219 a day, or $79,935 a year.

Many boomers have already experienced, first-hand, the limits of Medicare when attempting to provide for their aging parents. Under the best-case scenario, if a loved-one requires “skilled” care or therapy, Medicare can cover up to 100 days of care in a facility. Of those, days 21-100 require a co-pay from the Medicare recipient. Further, this care is only provided if the person is transferred to the facility after three consecutive days in a hospital (which believe it or not, is harder than it seems).

The safety net providing long-term care services for seniors who can no longer afford it is Medicaid. The income and asset limits imposed on Medicaid recipients are closely scrutinized and verified. In addition, they require substantial “spend-downs” where seniors must pay privately for their care. This is financially ruinous for women because they have longer life expectancies and many live their golden years with a fraction of the savings they had accumulated.

There is a solution for this epidemic in the form of long-term care insurance. However, few Americans have purchased this insurance because of the negatives surrounding these policies. Many have seen their premiums increased as insurance companies compensate for the increased amount of people who actually require the benefits. As premiums became unsustainable, especially after the income loss associated at first death between spouses, many of these policies began lapsing or having their benefits reduced. In addition, under the best case scenario, meaning one never requires to use their long-term care insurance during their lifetime, they don’t receive any benefit from the substantial premiums they have paid.

Few will face any tax during their lifetime that can equate to the cost of long-term care burdened by the majority of seniors. There are ways to protect your family from this catastrophic financial load, but different circumstances require different solutions. To discuss these solutions please call our office at 800-798-5297.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

Senior Living Options & Costs

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If you are thinking about where you or a loved one could or should live as they reach old age, this is an infographic that might provide some insight. Remember that there often ways that you can obtain benefits to help pay for care that your experienced elder law attorney can discuss with you. Senior Living Spectrum

 senior-living-types-of-care-bubble-diagram

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

Can I Afford to Keep Mom at Home?

By Kathy Cooper

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 8.46.00 AMEven though many of our clients are not yet in need of extra care, a big question on their minds is how they will pay for care. Most want to be cared for at home. No one wants to go into a nursing home! Most of their children are appalled at the idea of sending their parent to a nursing home. A recent article in Forbes talks about how we often underestimate how much care our aging parents may need and how much it costs to care for them at home.

First, we need to consider how much help is required. The amount of care and therefore the cost of care will depend on the number of activities of daily living (there are called ADLs and include bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, walking and transfer from bed to chair) for which Mom requires assistance. If Mom is over 85 and has problems with three or more ADLs, she will need an average of 9 hours of assistance per day – every day! If Mom also has dementia, the level of care goes up to 14 hours of care each day.

Next, we need to consider who will care for Mom. Family caregivers are the main source of informal care, but that is not always possible. If you are living in another city or you have a job that you must keep, it is unlikely this approach will be feasible. Unlicensed home care workers are often called in for basic care. The national average, according to a 2012 Met Life Study is $20 per hour.

Back to our example of Mom who is over 85, has dementia and requires assistance with three or more ADLs, the cost for long term care would average $102,200 per year. The Forbes article rightly suggests that it is unlikely Mom will be able to afford this on her own, so what can you do? If you are lucky enough to plan ahead because Mom is still doing well, get moving on a plan for her future. Consider contacting an elder law attorney to determine the government or veteran’s benefits that may be available to help pay for care at home, in assisted living and in a nursing home. Even if Mom needs help right now, even if Mom is in a nursing home, you may have options to obtain benefits that can help with the cost of care.

 

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Contact us for a free consultation.

DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home

By: Attorney Nathan Simpson

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 9.39.47 AMWhen choosing long term care options, the first concern for any family is that their loved one will get the best possible care. However, when choosing long term care providers, many individuals do not realize that all facilities are not the same. There are many options to choose from, and two of these are Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes. Assisted Living Facilities provide a less involved level of care than Nursing Homes, but there are many individuals who would are faced with a choice between the two.

I always recommend my clients choose what makes sense for their family, but with the rising costs of long term care, it is important to consider financial aspects as well as the care aspect. While almost all Nursing Homes accept government benefits, not all Assisted Living Facilities will accept those same benefits. Those that do may only have a limited number of beds for individuals receiving government benefits. These beds may have lengthy waiting lists, and may be reserved for individuals who have had the financial means to private pay for years.

This is why I recommend all my clients ask questions at the facilities to find out if they have any rules regarding paying for costs with government benefits. If you would like more information about the potential pitfalls in planning for long term care, please contact Cooper, Adel & Associates.

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Contact us for a free consultation.

DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 

Elder Law Tips & News

 

MetLife Mature Market Institute reported that the average cost of a semiprivate room in a Nursing Home rose 3.7% in 2012. In real numbers, that is an increase from $78,110 to $81,030 per year. If you have not started planning, there is no time like the present!

 

DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 



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