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Archive for November, 2011

Why Work with an Elder Law Attorney for Medicaid Planning?

Posted on: November 2nd, 2011 by Lawrence A. Friedman

Long term care can cost over $10,000 per month in the most expensive settings and even care at home with part time paid caregivers can cost thousands of dollars per month. Individuals without long term care insurance must look to savings or Medicaid to fund their care. To qualify for Medicaid, an applicant must meet stringent financial tests, but contrary to conventional wisdom, expert advice often can help families qualify for Medicaid without spending all their savings on long term care.

Medicaid is governed by complex and sometime contradictory laws and regulations, and Medicaid planning will not protect savings unless it satisfies all applicable rules and avoids hidden traps for the unwary. Thus, legal training can be essential to develop an effective Medicaid plan. In addition, states as diverse as Ohio, Texas, and Tennessee have ruled that non-lawyers engage in unauthorized practice of law when advising on Medicaid law and developing plans to qualify for Medicaid. Furthermore, faulty Medicaid planning actually can forfeit amounts that otherwise could be protected.

While various advisors may offer to help with Medicaid planning, friendly neighborhood Medicaid planners sometimes have hidden agendas to sell costly annuities, insurance, and other investments to generate large sales commissions rather than meet client needs. This is a particular concern when services are marketed through seminars where a free meal is accompanied by a powerful sales pitch. Thus Medicaid planning truly is a field where buyers should beware.

Detailed information on Medicaid planning is available throughout SpecialNeedsNJ.com. Questions and Answers appear at http://specialneedsnj.com/elder_law.php and via the articles tab]

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