For many people, thinking about long-term care is a topic that is often put off as long as possible. However, in doing so, they are setting themselves up for potential legal and financial problems that could hinder their ability to receive the care they or a loved one need and deserve. Because of this, it’s crucial to begin long-term care planning as early as possible, before it is needed. But to do so properly, it’s best to work with an experienced and knowledgeable Medicaid planning lawyer. By choosing to do so, you and your family members will receive the guidance needed to make informed decisions on this complex issue.

Defining Medicaid Planning

Since there are numerous rules and regulations regarding Medicaid, work with a lawyer who understands the complexities associated with this government program. In most cases when a client meets with an attorney to discuss long-term care options, they probably will not have heard of Medicaid planning. Simply put, it it assistance given to a potential Medicaid applicant by an attorney that not only helps to ensure they are eligible for Medicaid, but will also eliminate the chances of any problems developing that could result in a failure to comply with existing Medicaid policies.

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Why is Medicaid Planning Important?

In virtually every U.S. state, long-term care is extremely expensive, often costing several thousand dollars per month for nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. If adequate planning has not been done beforehand, a family’s life savings can be quickly wiped out paying for these services. However, by working with a skilled Medicaid planning lawyer before the need arises, families can discover there are numerous legal strategies that can help preserve assets and income, which can be important in being able to let a spouse or other loved ones maintain a reasonable standard of living.

Sheltering Assets

When many people think of sheltering their assets, they tend to wonder if this is legal. Not only is it perfectly legal, but when done by an attorney who understands how to navigate the complexities associated with Medicaid rules and regulations, is completely ethical and a smart choice for families who have income and assets they need to protect in order to maintain their standard of living. While initially unknown to many people as a viable option, it has become very popular in recent years as the preferred method of planning for long-term care.


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Irrevocable Trust

While there are many strategies that can be used in Medicaid planning, the most popular for many people is what’s known as an irrevocable trust. When this Medicaid planning option is used, any real or personal property placed in the trust will be excluded from a person’s assets for Medicaid planning. Requiring a proper beneficiary, this plan allows for the principal which is deposited into the trust to be legally sheltered from the state, and thus be preserved for heirs. However, it’s important to note that an irrevocable trust must be created and funded for a certain period of time in order to be a viable Medicaid planning strategy. Also, many states require these trusts be set up at least several years ahead of when a person will need to begin long-term care, to allow time for it to be judged to be in compliance with current Medicaid rules and regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still open questions?

Divorces can be rending, emotionally and financially. Community property laws and the often unpredictable vagaries of judges can make the process even more painful and costly. At Klueger & Stein, we can help plan ahead to reduce both the pain and the costs of a divorce.

Do not be fooled – even if you are innocent, that does not mean the courts are on your side. Jurors often side with the plaintiff who appears to need the funds in question rather than the defendant who they assume has money to spare.

Even a judge’s own personal feelings can put you in jeopardy.

Many of our clients believe that once a lawsuit has been filed against them, it is too late to shield assets from plaintiffs. They are happy to learn that usually there is still a lot they can do to protect their assets.

Many businesses and professions carry extraordinary financial risks that insurance alone can’t protect against. Medicine is a good example. Malpractice premiums are often barely affordable. Insurance does not cover many claims. Similarly impacted are real estate developers and builders and small business owners.

Over the past decade, our attorneys have represented hundreds of physicians, real estate developers, corporate directors and officers and small business owners. We know and understand the risks your business faces, and how to best shield your assets from these risks.

Even if an auto accident is minor, claims against you can be substantial. You can be sued for emotional damages, physical pain or a spurious claim like whiplash. There are approximately 150,000 practicing attorneys in California. Many of them look to your assets to make a living.

In a down real estate market a lot of borrowers find themselves unable to pay back loans or perform on personal guarantees. In difficult economic times banks and lenders pursue borrowers’ assets aggressively and diligently. This means that it is not enough to set up the most basic asset protection structures like revocable trusts or fake equity strips. To defeat the claim of a lender, especially a bank, the asset protection structures used need to be sophisticated and difficult to penetrate. We find that with the right asset protection structure in place, lenders will either give up the chase for your assets or be a lot more willing to negotiate.

Consult an Experienced Attorney

Of all areas of law, Medicaid planning can be one of the most complicated. If even the slightest mistake is made during the planning process, Medicaid coverage may be denied. Because of this, it’s critical to work with a Medicaid planning attorney who understands the process as well as the importance of paying attention to the slightest of details. By keeping this in mind when choosing your attorney, you and your family can have peace of mind, knowing the needs of loved ones and family members will be taken care of in the years ahead. Give us a call at (844) 339-9553.

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