Many people do not know what an elder law attorney does, and are not aware that Medicaid serves any purpose other than providing medical care to people with limited incomes. The reality is, Medicaid is frequently used by seniors to pay for the cost of nursing home care – but qualifying can mean spending all of your money and losing your property if you have not planned in advance. Medicaid planning is just one of the many important services provided by elder law attorneys. These services are provided to people of all ages, and the sooner you act, the more protection you can receive with help from an experienced attorney.
Sinclair Prosser Gasior guides people young and old through the Medicaid planning process and provides comprehensive advice on all of the elder law issues that will affect your future. If you want help protecting assets, protecting your family, controlling your medical care and achieving a secure future, give us a call today at 410-573-4818 or 301-970-8080 for personalized advice. We can also provide answers to some of the general questions you may have about elder law including:
- What do elder law attorneys do to help?
- What is Medicaid planning and why is it important?
- How can an Maryland elder law attorney help you?
What Do Elder Law Attorneys Do To Help?
Elder law attorneys address some of the issues which are most likely to impact the senior population. However, while there is a statistically greater chance of these matters affecting elderly people, the reality is that anything could happen anytime – even to very young people. Everyone needs elder law help because anyone is at risk of:
- Illness or injury requiring nursing home care
- Financial insecurity during retirement
Elder law attorneys help to plan for incapacity by making sure you have chosen a person to make your healthcare choices and to manage your assets. Illness and injury are planned for as well, not only with your incapacity plan but also by taking steps to ensure that you can afford nursing home coverage if you need it.
Financial insecurity during retirement can be dealt with the creation of an IRA and through the structuring of a strategic retirement plan and asset protection plan. Finally, a comprehensive estate plan can be created to protect a legacy and to provide for loved ones. These are some of the many services elder law attorneys perform for you.
What is Medicaid Planning and Why is it Important?
Medicaid planning is an important part of planning for illness and injury and an important part of making sure that your legacy is kept secure. Most private insurance providers, and Medicare, will not pay for you to get routine custodial care in a nursing home. A nursing home is only covered briefly for the provision of skilled medical services. The problem is, many people get custodial care in nursing homes as they age, and they end up paying thousands of dollars a month to do it.
The cost of a nursing home would have to be paid out of pocket; however, Medicaid will pay the bills if you qualify. Qualifying requires you meet financial criteria, including having few resources. Spending down of your personal assets is thus required before Medicaid pays your nursing home bills. Medicaid planning allows you to avoid this spend-down process by structuring asset ownership so you do not lose what you own.
Medicaid planning should be done five or more years before you require nursing home care, as there is something called a five-year look back rule. A transfer of assets happens during Medicaid planning, and asset transfers can cause a period of disqualification which is determined based on the value of the assets and the average monthly nursing home cost.
While protection of assets is still possible even if there is not five years to wait before nursing home care is required, the broadest protection comes if you act early. Do not wait to begin the process, but take action as soon as you have assets to protect so you do not lose what you have worked to acquire.
How can a Maryland Elder Law Attorney Help You?
If you live in Annapolis, Bowie, Millersville, Waldorf and surrounding areas in Maryland, Sinclair Prosser Gasior is here to provide the legal advice and assistance you need to plan for your future. Give us a call today at 410-573-4818, 301-970-8080 or contact us online to find out more about how we can make the legal tools available in Maryland work to protect you.