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Top Nine Medicaid Planning Errors People Make and How to Fix Them!

Posted by: Mills Elder Law
Practice Area: Trademark    Country: All    Publish Date:

Medicaid planning is not something simple to go through and it really helps when you go see an experienced professional like a Medicaid planning attorney Toms River and elsewhere. Here is a look at the top nine mistakes people make and what you can do to avoid them or fix them!

  1. Not doing anything because you think it is too late. Even when someone is already in a nursing home there are steps a lawyer can help you take so that their assets are better protected. With how expensive it is now to stay in nursing homes anything that can be done to protect what is left is a very good idea.
  2. Thinking it is time to start giving away assets. Putting a child on the deed of the home or transferring items of ownership or cash is a very common mistake people make. The idea is to to qualify for Medicaid. But the new Medicaid rules for gifting means that there is a period they will look back over called the look back period which currently sits at 5 years. Generally, the use of a special kind of trust is best for a number of reasons. If you are looking for advice on Medicaid Red Bank NJ, an attorney that specializes in this area can advise you on the best approach with your assets.
  3. Thinking the gift tax exemption does not apply to the look-back period. While it is true that gifts of up to $15,000 are exempt from gift taxes, this does not apply to Medicaid. In fact, with the current federal gift tax exemption at $11.4 (2019), the majority of the population can give away their assets with no gift or income tax issues as gifts are not subject to the income tax.  No gifting is allowed for Medicaid.  A Medicaid planning attorney Toms River would advise you that in fact all gifts, even those to churches or charities are part of the look-back period.
  4. Not knowing there are protections made for spouses of people in nursing homes. There are strategies a lawyer can use to see that the spouse not in a nursing home does not become impoverished from paying for the one that is.
  5. 5Not enough planning ahead. Often even those who have an early diagnosis of something like dementia means they will need a nursing home one day, they still do not plan for it. People can lose eligibility when they have not made plans with an experienced professional.
  6. Understanding the need to prepare for estate recovery. The state can essentially look for reimbursement of costs after you have died. An elder lawyer with experience in Medicaid Red Bank NJ can help take steps to avoid this.
  7. Getting the timing right for your Medicaid application. The timing is important, both filing too early or too late can cost a lot of money.
  8. Not having power of attorney in place. There is likely going to be a time when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself and having a POA ahead of that, who knows your wishes regarding all sorts of issues is important. Your lawyer can set it up.
  9. Thinking nursing staff at the home can help with applications. That is not their area of expertise and they are not qualified or knowledgeable enough in Medicaid law to do it. Rather than wasting money, get the right expert help. Alternatively, using a Medicaid Advisor and not an elder law attorney.  In fact, a number of states like Florida and New Jersey have restricted the services a non-attorney can provide in helping someone obtain Medicaid.

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