By attorney Rick Law of the Estate, Asset and Retirement Tax Lawyers at Law ElderLaw in West suburban Aurora in Illinois.
Seniors suffering from dementia who wish to qualify for state-paid nursing home care are required to spend down until they only have $2,000 in countable assets (this number varies from state to state). The state Medicaid agency is going to examine all major financial transactions that occurred during the five years prior to Medicaid application. This is where the personal-care contract needs to be very precise in how it details the care being provided.
The state Medicaid agency will be looking to see if the caregiver agreement is being used to allow the parent to simply gift assets to children and still apply for long-term care on the state’s dime. State Medicaid agencies will generally look at two factors to determine whether a transfer of assets disqualifies the person receiving the care for Medicaid benefits:
- the fair market value of the transaction
- the intent behind the transaction
While that may sound simple enough, determining the prevailing price of eldercare services is not as easy as it sounds. Just about everyone, including hearing officers and judges, has a different opinion as to how to determine the prevailing price for caregivers.
In some states, it may be essential that the personal-care agreement be entered into prior to services being rendered. In other states, those reviewing the contract will be looking for specifics such as how long the services will last, how many hours per week, what standards of services are being provided, and what, if any, provisions provide for a refund.
Too many families needlessly lose everything they have. Don’t let that be you. If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!
Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.
Rick has been named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being lost to the expenses of long term care. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!