Many of us will one day need more care than our families can provide and will need to move into an assisted living facility or nursing home. This round-the-clock care, however, is not cheap. Private health insurance does not help pay these costs, and most people do not invest in long-term care insurance that would. Instead, they end up spending down the assets they worked for decades to save, and then rely on Medicaid to pay for their care.
But there is another way. We can help you protect your family’s inheritance, using legal strategies to protect your assets and qualify for Medicaid sooner. At Bratton Scott, we have an interdisciplinary Medicaid planning team that consists of attorneys, social workers, and a registered nurse. A Medicaid planning attorney in Gloucester Township, NJ can provide all the information you need to understand your potential future care needs and help you create a plan that allows you to pay for them without spending down the money you hope to leave for the next generation.
Call us today at 856-857-6007.
Meeting Medicaid’s Strict Qualifications
Medicaid offers coverage to those who have little income and few assets and provides access to medical care and long-term care facilities. The eligibility criteria to get these benefits in New Jersey include:
- Providing proof that you are a U.S. citizen or an immigrant who qualifies;
- Are 65 years old or older, or suffer from a qualifying disability; and
- Documentation that your income and assets meet the program’s strict limits.
The part of these qualifications that most people struggle to meet is the strict income and asset limits. In general, middle-class families will not meet these qualifications until they spend down a significant portion of their children’s inheritance and sell off many of their assets to pay for care. They empty their savings and retirement accounts, sell their investments, part with beloved valuables, and perhaps even cash out their life insurance policies. As time goes on, they eventually have little left to live on, and are finally able to qualify for Medicaid.
Some people try to quietly move their assets over to their children or other heirs, hoping they can save some of the nest egg they worked so hard to earn. This can backfire, though. Medicaid is aware of this tactic and does not allow you to distribute assets in this way for several years before qualifying for benefits.
When you file for Medicaid, the government will look into your finances. This includes analyzing your taxes, mortgage statements, credit cards, bank statements, and other records. If they find any evidence you moved assets to qualify for Medicaid sooner, they can bar you from receiving benefits for several years.
Medicaid Planning Protects Your Family and Your Future
While you cannot simply move assets to your children or another family member without it potentially jeopardizing your Medicaid benefits, there are legal ways to protect your assets. We can help you put a plan in place to ensure you get the appropriate care while also passing your assets on to your family.
The easiest way to distribute assets is by planning ahead. Medicaid looks back for five years from the date you apply, so moving assets to a trust or your heirs directly before this date leaves you in the clear if done correctly. Of course, this is not always possible.
If you need Medicaid now or suffer from a degenerative condition that will likely necessitate around-the-clock care in the next few years, we can put a plan in place quickly. This plan will allow you to distribute assets in a legal way, protecting some of your savings and still letting you obtain the Medicaid benefits you need in a timely fashion. There is no single strategy that works for every family that enlists our help. However, we have the resources to identify what will work for your family and your unique financial situation.
We will sit down with your family and discuss how we can best meet your needs. We will talk about your medical condition(s) and treatment, possible future care needs, preferences, and priorities. We can develop a plan to ensure your family members have access to the money they need, and ensure you qualify for Medicaid benefits to pay for the care you deserve.
Medicaid Planning Offers Peace of Mind for the Whole Family
The decision to move a family member into an assisted living facility or nursing home affects everyone else in the family. Adult children worry their parent may not get the medical care they need or live the quality of life they currently enjoy. A spouse remaining at home may worry if they will have enough money to make ends meet. How you pay for the expenses related to around-the-clock care is on everyone’s mind.
With Medicaid planning, everyone gains peace of mind. Medicaid ensures your loved one gets the most appropriate care available, and the plan we develop and deploy may preserves assets, so the rest of the family has access to the money they need to pay bills.
Our goal when we sit down with a family for Medicaid planning is to put a step-by-step plan in place that allows their loved one to qualify for government health care benefits as soon as possible while spending as little of the family’s assets as possible if that is an objective for the family.
Reach Out to a Medicaid Planning Attorney in Gloucester Township
At Bratton Scott, our Medicaid planning team of knowledgeable professionals can do more than help you qualify for Medicaid benefits. Our services offer you peace of mind about your family’s financial future. We can employ legal strategies that may allow you to protect your assets while still paying for placement in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or long-term care facility.
Call our office today at 856-857-6007 to learn more.