We represent seniors who will need help in-home or will need to move to an assisted living facility, memory care facility, supportive living facility or skilled nursing facility as part of the aging process. We provide guidance and answers to questions such as:
- How do I afford care?
- How can my spouse avoid spousal impoverishment and remain at home?
- Are there federal or state benefits that will pay for my spouse and me?
- How do I qualify for Medicaid for long-term care?
- Can I remain in my home?
- Can I preserve for financial legacy for my spouse?
- Can I preserve a financial legacy for my children?
- Can I preserve a financial legacy for a disabled family member?
- Can my family afford and deal with the various types of dementia, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s Disease and other disabling and progressive maladies?
We know the average cost of a nursing home in Illinois may be in the range of $8,000 to $15,000 a month or more. We guide clients in a way in which they are not forced to private pay for their nursing home and have all their life savings drained in a matter of months. Our efforts lessen their fear of losing their home or being left penniless while in long-term care. We also know that the rules for Medicaid- Long term Care in the state of Illinois are a minefield for the inexperienced.
We represent senior clients in the issues of aging, long-term care, and governmental benefits. We instruct clients on the distinctions between Life’s 3 Phases: maturing years, senior years, and postmortem years. See the “GAP” illustration tool below that visually points out distinctions in Life’s 3 Phases.
Senior Estate Planning
Through “Senior Estate Planning” we, on behalf of our senior clients, or sometimes on behalf of the duly appointed children and family members that act as their fiduciaries: 1) recommend that clients revise powers of attorney for both property and healthcare with a view towards long-term care, 2) communicate with medical professionals regarding diminished mental capacity, 3) create and classify an inventory of assets and income for public benefits purposes, 4) revise existing estate plan documents such as wills and trusts so that long-term care is emphasized in addition to our clients’ traditional death and dispositive plans, and 5) assist in funding assets into “senior estate planning” vehicles.
Some of the “senior estate planning” vehicles that we use are:
- Preplanning 5-Year Irrevocable Asset Protection Trusts,
- Reverse Pour-back Trusts to Wills containing Testamentary Spousal Supplemental Needs sub-trusts,
- Structured Gifts to asset protection trusts,
- Medicaid Compliant Annuities,
- Medicaid Compliant Promissory Notes,
- Irrevocable Third-Party Professionally Trusteed Gift Trusts,
- Medicaid approved OBRA Trusts (both private trusts and pooled trusts), and
- Third-Party Special Needs Trusts without payback provisions.
We also design and document “Senior Estate Planning” plans such as:
(1) a Pre-Plan where you or your spouse have at least 5 years to protect assets before seeking Medicaid eligibility that often consists of involving special purpose documents such as specialized irrevocable gift trusts,
(2) a Wait and See Plan triggered by a recent diagnosis or debilitating illness that requires that some legal work be done now, but other legal work may be deferred until later in the prognosis, so our client can remain at home longer with the appropriate resources. At such a time, we recognize that it may be important to prepare advance directives such as powers of attorney for health and powers of attorney for property and b) specialized Medicaid purposed senior estate planning documents consisting of Medicaid purposed wills and trusts as discussed below, or
(3) a Crisis Plan where based on current health needs you may need to enter a long-term care facility and thereby require have in place all the tools needed to protect you and your family and your assets during a long-term care spend down crisis by legally and ethically: a) repositioning of assets and resources to obtain governmental benefits, b) preparing a Medicaid application, or c) preparing an appeal in a Medicaid case.
Medicaid Asset Protection for Long-Term Care in a Health Crisis
When our clients find themselves in healthcare crisis that will likely result in the need for long-term care, we:
- Review and negotiate the nursing home or facility contract,
- Review and compile documents for a Medicaid application submission for long-term care,
- Devise and implement Medicaid strategies for long-term care,
- File a Medicaid application for long-term care,
- Represent the client in a Medicaid post- application audit,
- Represent the client in an appeal, if necessary,
- Represent the client in an annual redetermination of Medicaid eligibility.
Medicaid Asset Protection and Estate Asset Planning for Long-Term Care leaves no room for generic advice. Instead, we take the time to learn about your circumstances and create a legal and ethical strategy specifically designed to meet your long-term care planning needs. Federal and state benefits, such as Medicaid have certain low thresholds as to the assets and income a person can have and still qualify.
We would be pleased work with you to determine whether you qualify and, if not, determine how you can become eligible by using strategies, such as the 1) creation of trusts, 2) gifting to trusts, 3) legal and ethical asset repositioning, and 4) strategic spend down of resources, we can help you qualify for the financial and medical assistance you need and, are legally entitled to as a taxpayer.