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Elder Care Law FAQs

Elder Care Law FAQs

Will Medicare cover my nursing home stay?+
Medicare Part A can cover, in full, the first 20 days of a rehabilitative nursing home stay only after a qualifying 3-day hospital stay and can cover a portion of the nursing home stay for up to 100 days.
If we have not done any planning and my loved one is in the nursing home now, is it too late to save assets because of the 5-year look-back?+
Not necessarily, we can typically undertake lawful asset protection planning to save approximately one half to potentially all assets for a single person depending on whether or not there were sizable gifts made during the past 5 years or other exemptions that may be available. Even if gifts were made during the five-year period, there may still be planning available to protect those gifts and in many cases, protect additional gifts. We may be able to save substantially everything if the nursing home bound individual has a spouse living in the community.
Will I lose my house?+
With proper planning your house may be protected. Planning is still available after a client enters a nursing home, in many cases.
Can I transfer my house to my children or other family members?+
Transferring the house is a planning option based on each individual’s circumstances. For the vast majority of cases, the house or one half of its equity can be protected after a client enters a skilled nursing facility depending on each circumstance.
Will my spouse be impoverished because I am required to spend down privately paying the nursing home?+
Typically, the spouse living in the community is allowed to keep between $74,820 and $128,640 in total assets, subject to Medicaid gifting rules.

However, if we undertake asset protection planning, we can often avoid the need to spend down assets and protect substantially all assets for the spouse, again subject to Medicaid gifting rules.
Why should I pay for a lawyer to prepare my Medicaid application when the nursing home will provide free non-lawyers to do so for free or for a substantially cheaper fee?+
Non Lawyers are working for the nursing home, and they typically want you to spend down your assets privately paying the nursing home. They cannot provide legal advice to you and as a result will not provide what lawful asset-protection strategies are available to protect your assets. Further, without legal planning, if there is a Medicaid penalty period assessed and/or an unpaid nursing home bill not covered by Medicaid benefits even after the non-lawyers obtain Medicaid benefits for you, you are on your own and, in many cases, a lawsuit will be commenced by the nursing home for the unpaid bill.
If I have a revocable living trust, are my assets protected from the nursing home spend down requirement?+
No. A revocable trust does not protect assets from long-term care costs; you will still require asset protection planning.
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