The Surprising but Essential Estate Planning Step for Social Security Benefits

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The Surprising but Essential Estate Planning Step for Social Security Benefits

An important part of social security benefits is creating a power of attorney. A power of attorney (POA) is a document in which you appoint another person to act and make decisions on your behalf. In such a setting, you are called the principal while the agent you appoint is called an attorney-in-fact (note that this person doesn’t have to be a legal professional in anyway). A power of attorney sometimes is also used to refer to the attorney-in-fact.

The power of attorney document authorizes the agent over a broad or limited jurisdiction as set out by the principal. They can be authorized to either make financial decisions, health care decisions, both, or even handle the personal and domestic care of the principal as the case may be.

Part of managing your finances also includes managing your social security benefits. Whether you are receiving your social security benefits now or will apply for them in the future, you need to assign someone (a power of attorney) who will manage this situation when you are unable to.

Participating in Medicaid and Social Security Benefits

To take part in Social Security Benefits, federal law requires states to cover some groups of people. These groups of people include low-income families, qualified pregnant women including children, and people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). States have extra options for coverage and may decide to extend the benefits of Social Security Benefits to other groups, like people receiving home and community-based services including children in foster care who aren’t eligible.

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 brought about the opportunity for state to extend the benefits of Medicaid to low-income Americans under age 65. Medicaid eligibility for children was raised to a minimum of 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) in all states (most states cover children to higher income levels). Also, states were given the chance to extend eligibility to adults with income at or less than 133% of the FPL. Most states has decided to widen coverage to adults, and those that are yet to expand may decide to do so in the nearest future. Ensure you check if your state has expended Medicaid coverage to low-income adults.

Who should apply for social security benefits?

Social security benefits is mainly designed for those who cannot afford the expensive cost of private care and those with certain disabilities. As said earlier, it is also meant for seniors, low-income families, etc.

If you are a senior, it is best you apply for Medicaid. However, before you do so, don’t hesitate to contact a Medicaid attorney in your state, as he should be able to explain, as you will need the help of a professional to better understand how it works.

Worthy to note is that each state has different rules regarding who should apply for a Medicaid, so it will be wrong if you make assumptions based on another state’s requirements.

Apply for Social security benefits if you are:

  • 65 years old or older
  • Blind or disabled
  • Have limited income and resources
  • Seriously ill and need hospice services
  • If you are aged, blind, or disabled, reside in a nursing home, and have limited income and resources.

What happens if you don’t have a power of attorney?

Powers of attorney can be the instrument that protects your best interests, your healthcare, finances, and even the way you die. If you do not have one and you become incapacitated, your family may be thrown into confusion about what to do, and they may have to go through the costly and time-consuming process of guardianship.

Note that someone even as you close to you as your spouse cannot take legal or financial actions regarding any property held in only your name. A power of attorney can grant that opportunity to sell or invest.

Speak with an elder law and estate planning lawyers today

There are several rules affecting who can apply for Medicaid. Even when you think you are ineligible, you may be wrong. To ensure you get it right, speak with an elder law attorney near you today. Our elder law attorneys are ready to give you all the help you need.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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