Elder law is the legal specialty that is devoted to matters that directly impact senior citizens. The information that you would receive when you consult with an elder law attorney will be invaluable, because there are some profound eventualities that elders are facing at the present time.
Long-term care is at the top of the list of elder law concerns. The majority of senior citizens will someday need living assistance, and Medicare does not pay for long-term care. If you had to pay out-of-pocket, you may well wind up parting with all or most of the assets that you always intended to leave behind to your loved ones after your passing.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
People sometimes hear bits and pieces about nursing home asset protection, and they come away with misconceptions. There is no mechanism in place that would force you to give half of your assets to a nursing home if you require nursing home care. You would simply be entering into a contractual agreement with the nursing home. There would be charges, and you would be required to pay the bills.
Many people plan ahead with Medicaid eligibility in mind, because Medicaid will pay for long-term care. If you were to give assets to your family members before you apply for Medicaid, you could potentially gain eligibility.
The misconceptions about half of the assets can stem from the fact that your spouse can keep half of the shared assets that are considered to be countable, but there is a limit. This is called the Community Spouse Resource Allowance. In New York, this limit is $119,220 in 2015. There is also a minimum allowance of $74,820.
We should also point out the fact that the healthy spouse could maintain ownership of the family home without impacting his or her spouse’s Medicaid eligibility status.
You could potentially give countable assets to family members before you apply for Medicaid. However, you have to complete your gift giving at least five years before you apply if you want to obtain coverage in a timely manner.
Your eligibility is delayed and you have to pay out-of-pocket for a prescribed period of time if you violate this five-year look-back period.
Free Medicaid Planning Consultation
Long-term care is extremely expensive, with the average annual charge for a room in a nursing home exceeding $100,000 in New York. People often require multiple years of care, so the expenses can be astronomical.
However, if you take the right steps, you may be able to qualify for Medicaid as a nursing home asset protection solution.
Our firm can help if you have questions about Medicaid planning. We offer free consultations, and you can send us a message through this page to set up an appointment: NY Elder Law Attorneys.