Medicaid (ALTCS) Planning
Arizona and New Mexico Long-Term Care Planning Lawyer
Since the 1960s, the U.S. government has administered the Medicaid program as a means of helping elderly people get the care they require in a nursing home or long-term care facility, or even help living at home. As a means of paying for the costs of medical services and care, the government taps into every available financial resource the nursing home resident has available. Pensions, personal retirement savings, Social Security payments and all other sources of income are available for the government to take unless the funds have been protected by public benefit triggers in a power of attorney or trust.
The legal, financial and life-care planning issues confronting families of elderly people facing a transition to nursing home care can be complex and overwhelming. Morris Hall, PLLC, has more than three decades of experience practicing in the legal areas of estate planning and elder law, including a strong emphasis on Medicaid planning for residents of Arizona (ALTCS) and New Mexico.
We Will Examine Every Available Option to Protect Your Financial Assets
Protecting your family’s assets from the necessity of spending down everything for long-term care isn’t as easy as just getting the wealth out of an individual’s name. In fact, transferring assets out of an individual’s name may make a person ineligible for public benefits. Proper long-term care planning requires looking at all of the possible strategies to pay for long-term care, whether in a care facility or at home. The tax consequences of qualifying for public benefits, and the possibility of qualifying for multiple benefit programs, such as Medicaid and VA benefits, also factor into the equation. There are often options available to protect an individual’s assets, including reallocating money between spouses in the event one spouse enters a care facility. Public benefit triggers, which are part of a properly drafted estate plan, make it possible to do the planning necessary to qualify an individual for benefits to pay for long-term care.
Time Frame for Public Benefit Triggers
It is important to start planning for long-term care early. Under federal and state law, the state can look five years into the past to determine whether assets have been removed from a person’s name for the purpose of avoiding nursing home costs. This does not include the couple’s primary residence, which is not counted as an asset if the other spouse continues to live in it. Some planning strategies, if started early, can help an individual preserve his or her assets from the high cost of long-term care. Other strategies require action at the time an individual needs care. The attorneys at Morris Hall understand the complex laws in this area, and we help our clients and their families qualify for assistance with paying for long-term care. We also help our clients plan before a need arises by making sure their trusts or powers of attorney have public benefit triggers.
AAEPA • NAELA • WealthCounsel • AV Rated* • CPAs • Licensed Financial Planners
Contact us to arrange a consultation with an experienced lawyer today. Our offices are located in Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque and communities throughout Arizona and New Mexico.
*Martindale-Hubbell’s AV peer review rating is the highest-rated category an attorney can achieve in the areas of legal skills and ethical standards. AV is a registered certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.