Family Asset Protection Planning
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can be very expensive but there are ways to make your long-term care dollars stretch. There are three primary methods of paying for nursing homes or assisted living facilities:
1) Private-paying with one's own dollars;
2) Using insurance that covers some or all of the cost of long-term care and
3) Need-Based Government Benefits, i.e. VA Benefits and the Medicaid program.
Private-paying for care often means total indigence. The cost of nursing homes in Southeast Florida range from about $4,000 to $12,000 per month. Assisted living facilities are about half the cost of nursing homes but still too much for many to pay without outliving their savings. Many people spend all of their savings in nursing homes and then have nothing left. Not a very good option!
Long-term care insurance works for some but most people considering nursing home care do not have long-term care insurance and either cannot qualify for the policies or cannot afford the premiums. Long-term care insurance is therefore often not an option.
Need Based Government Benefits - This leaves Veteran’s Benefits and the Medicaid program. In Florida, Medicaid pays for almost all nursing homes including the finest of facilities (you sometimes need to know the tricks to getting in!) and Medicaid increasingly covers assisted living facilities as well. But in order to qualify for Medicaid, applicants must be below $2,000 in savings and below $2,022 in income (2011 figures).
Elder Law Attorneys can help people to ethically and legally convert "ountable savings" to "non-countable" savings, so that Elder Law clients can keep their savings and still qualify for Medicaid. This is done not out of greed but of necessity so that the Elder Law client is not left indigent at the cost of long-term care. In the words of one court, "No agency of the government has any right to complain about the fact that middle-class people confronted with desperate circumstances choose [to do Medicaid asset protection planning] when it is the government itself which has established the rule that poverty is a prerequisite to the receipt of government assistance in the defraying of the costs of ruinously expensive, but absolutely essential medical treatment."
If you need the help, we can guide you through the process. With experienced and caring attorneys and staff, we have put together a nationally recognized system and one that makes a tremendous difference in people’s lives. To learn more and to see if our planning is right for you, set an initial consultation. The charge is $250 for that meeting. When you call the office, you will be told what to expect and you will then shortly receive more information in the mail in advance of your meeting.
Solkoff Legal, P.A. is conveniently located in Delray Beach, the heart of Palm Beach county, Florida. To arrange for a consultation, call the firm at 561-733-4242, or click the contact us button at the top of this page.