Don’t Make These 7 Medicaid, Long Term Care Planning Mistakes
Proper planning is required to obtain Medicaid assistance. When people encounter chronic illnesses and face depleting financial resources, consulting with a certified elder law attorney will help you avoid long term care planning and asset preservation pitfalls:
- Transferring the house: People who transfer their home to their children will find themselves ineligible for Medicaid. The Medicaid agency can look at your financial records and gifts for the prior 5 years. The house does not count as a resource if it is valued at under $536,000.00.
- Making gifts: Gifting will delay you receiving Medicaid. If you make gifts after you become ill you are going to have a very difficult time convincing the Medicaid agency that you did not do it just to become eligible for Medicaid.
- Buying an annuity: An annuity is not the right answer for everyone especially single people or widows/widowers.. Since 2008 federal law requires the annuity to name the state Medicaid agency as beneficiary (unless you have a spouse or disabled child). This means any remaining value of the annuity will be paid to the Medicaid agency, not to your family.
- Using a family member’s social security number: If you have a joint account with a family member and only use that family member’s social security number, that will not avoid the account being a counted resource by Medicaid. As a joint owner either half or all of the account will be treated as yours (if the other joint owner did not contribute anything to the account you may be treated as owning 100%).
- Filing an application when you have excess resources: Your application will be denied if you have more than $2,000.00 for single people or more than $115,920.00 if married in countable resources. Learn how special needs trusts, pooled trusts, rental property, spousal refusal and other planning options can help you qualify and preserve assets.
- Filing an application when you have too much income: Your application will be denied if your gross monthly income in Florida exceeds $2,163.00 (includes social security retirement, pensions, IRA distributions). You need an attorney to draft a qualified income trust before you apply otherwise it will delay approval and you will have to pay privately for your care.
- Filing an application without legal representation: Don’t file a Medicaid application without first having your situation reviewed by a board certified elder law attorney. I can spot potential problems and tell you how to avoid them which can save you time and money and give you peace of mind.
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