Nursing Home Medicaid Applications: What You Need to Know About Eligibility

If you or a loved one need nursing home care or long-term care in the home, the thought of applying for Medicaid to secure that care is daunting. Try Googling “Medicaid Application” and you’ll find thousands of results that are essentially worthless. Here are some points to know, if you are faced with applying for long-term Medicaid to pay for care:

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What Can My Power of Attorney Do for Me?

A durable power of attorney for finances is an essential part of every estate plan. A POA document allows you (the Principal) to give permission to another person (your agent) to act on your behalf. Your agent can act and speak for you when it has become difficult or impossible for you to do so yourself. A properly done POA document avoids the need for a guardianship or other court intervention if you lose the legal capacity to handle your affairs. However, not all POA documents are the same. A POA that lacks certain provisions can mean your agent will not be able to carry out your wishes at a crucial moment. This post discusses some common issues with POA documents, and how to decide whether yours needs updated.

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Dementia and the Importance of Planning for Your Future.

November is Alzheimer’s awareness month, so I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about dementia and the importance of planning for your future. First and foremost, some forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. We have all misplaced our keys or put our wallet in a different place, forgetting momentarily where we left it. When forgetfulness becomes more serious, losing your way while driving in an area you visit frequently; not taking medication because you forgot if you took it or not, it starts to affect your normal daily routine and it’s time to follow up with your doctor.

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How to Protect Your Home in a Medicaid Application

For most people, the home is their most important asset, for many reasons, but primarily because it might be their largest valued asset financially and sentimentally. Whether you want the home to stay in the family or want the value of the home to pass on to family, this is a discussion I often have with clients who are contemplating a Medicaid application.

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Revocable Trust or Irrevocable Trust: What is the Best Option for Me?

Trusts are great tools for you to pass assets to your heirs, whether that be to children, other family members, or charities. However, not all trusts are created equally. Sometimes, we use revocable trusts for one client, while another client established an irrevocable trust. When does it make sense to use a revocable trust compared to an irrevocable trust?

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Generational Differences Call for Differences in Estate Planning

Whether you’re in your 40’s or your 80’s, it’s never too early or late to start thinking about creating an estate plan, and different generations can have specific ideas and approaches when it comes to their estate planning. Baby Boomers, those born generally between 1946 and 1964, are often characterized as having a strong work ethic and whose identities are intertwined with their job, they prefer structure, discipline and are very good team players.  Generation X, individuals born between 1965 and 1976 are known as those who “work smart, not hard,” and do a relatively good job of balancing work with family time. Millennials and Gen Y, those born between 1977 and 1994, are fiercely independent and are concerned with ethics and social responsibility. 

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Medicaid and Your Home

One of the most common questions I get asked is if Medicaid is going to take the home. For many families, their home is their most valuable asset. But even if you have assets worth more, you probably don’t have the same emotional attachment to your retirement account as you do to your home. It’s easy to see why! You live in your home for many years, and your time there is full of memories. The thought of Medicaid forcing you to leave your home is frightening. Unfortunately, a lot of bad information is out there about Medicaid and your home. So let me be clear: Medicaid will not take your home. Hopefully, this blog post helps you better understand how Medicaid treats your home, how you can protect your home from Medicaid spend-down, and how to be ‘Medicaid smart’ if you do decide to sell your home.

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Medicaid and Medicare Working Together

Medicaid and Medicare are the two largest publicly funded health programs in the country with different missions that often overlap. Medicare provides health coverage to seniors and some individuals with disabilities. Medicaid covers adults and children who cannot afford insurance, or who have health care costs they cannot afford. Often, an individual will be eligible for coverage through both programs. Today, I will focus on how both programs work together by answering some commonly asked questions.

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Paying For Long-Term Care

Long-term care is not just nursing home care, like many of us think. I often speak about the “Elder Care Continuum”, which describes what many of us and our loved ones will or are experiencing as we age or face health challenges. In the beginning you may have little to no real limitations, reside in your home with no cost of care, and have private insurance through Medicare and various compliments. As you continue to age and some health issues arise, perhaps you’ll need to pay for some in-home assistance, which may be covered or paid for by VA Benefits, community services, or private caretakers. As your needs become greater and limitations increase, perhaps a move into a retirement community becomes more appropriate, funded by Social Security and retirement income.

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