Moving into a nursing home can be a difficult time that requires an elderly loved one to make substantial changes to their daily routine. Unfortunately, it may also require a family to examine their finances. Many of these facilities charge thousands of dollars monthly for their services, leaving nursing home residents and their families struggling to pay the bills. The Medicaid program can help nursing home residents make these payments, but only if they have next to no assets in their name.
A Moorestown Medicaid planning lawyer could help nursing home applicants retain their eligibility for benefits and preserve their assets by placing them in a trust. However, creating these trusts is a delicate matter that requires precise knowledge of the law. An experienced elder law attorney could explain how Medicaid eligibility works and craft plans that increase your chance of receiving benefits.
Legal Options to Secure Medicaid Eligibility
Medicaid recognizes the expense of nursing homes and can provide full payments for long-term care. However, every Medicaid application will include an audit of the applicant’s finances to assess their need for benefits, including a determination that the elder has no assets in their name. This eligibility requirement often leads to devastating consequences when families realize that financial support is available only after an elder’s assets are exhausted.
Thankfully, nursing home residents in Moorestown may be able to access Medicaid benefits with the help of a knowledgeable attorney. An effective way to reduce assets without giving them up is to place them in a trust. A trust takes legal ownership over property until a designated time when it moves to a beneficiary. While property is in a trust, it is immune from a Medicaid audit, with specific exceptions.
Nursing Home Residents Should Plan Now to Secure Medicaid Benefits
Unfortunately, Medicaid recognized this loophole in the financial requirements for eligibility. As a result, Social Security Act § 1917(c)(1)(B)(i) establishes a five-year lookback period for audits of nursing home applicants. This legal stipulation means that any property that is not placed in the trust more than five years before the date of application is still subject to valuation when determining a person’s eligibility for Medicaid. Planning now may be the best option to protect a family’s finances later.
To receive Medicaid benefits without losing assets, it is critical to transfer property to a trust as soon as possible. Trusts require complicated legal processes that may be difficult to work through quickly. A Medicaid planning lawyer in Moorestown could help craft these documents to ensure the smooth transfer of assets and the protection of both trust-makers and beneficiaries.
Discuss Your Options With a Moorestown Medicaid Planning Attorney
Nursing home care can cost thousands of dollars a month and last for many years. Medicaid can provide financial assistance when a person cannot make these payments. However, it is only possible for nursing home residents to be eligible for these benefits if they reallocate the assets they have worked hard to obtain. Transferring property into a trust could be a means to protect these assets.
Creating a trust that protects assets and ensures they are transferred to beneficiaries requires legal knowledge and expertise. A Moorestown Medicaid planning lawyer could help explain eligibility for benefits and find ways to relieve a nursing home resident’s financial burden. Call now to schedule a consultation.