If you are like most seniors, you will need long term care in your life. Long term care is expensive, and it could quickly deplete the entirety of your savings and assets. Medicaid is a government program that can pay for your long term care. But since Medicaid is a needs-based program, only certain people qualify. Elder law attorneys who are experienced with Medicaid can help you qualify.
What Can An Elder Law Medicaid Attorney Do?
Among other things, elder law attorneys can help you with long term care planning, including planning for Medicaid to cover the cost of care at a nursing home, assisted living facility, or at home. They can help you with asset protection, estate planning, and special needs planning.
What Is The Difference Between Elder Law And Estate Planning?
Most elder law attorneys engage heavily in estate planning. However, some estate planning lawyers exclude long-term care asset protection from the scope of their services. Elder law attorneys address advance health care directives and guardianship issues in addition to long-term care asset protection. Typically, estate planning attorneys that exclude long-term care issues focus on serving clients whose wealth levels may trigger estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax issues.
When Should I Hire An Elder Law Attorney For Medicaid?
If you want to protect your assets from going to a nursing home or other institution the moment that you need long term care, then you need a lawyer’s advice. Protecting your assets and obtaining Medicaid is hard to accomplish without the guidance of a skilled Medicaid planning attorney. Asset protection strategies, for example, involve the use of legal entities and other legal processes that the typical nonlawyer might not understand.
You would be making a big mistake to try to get long term care Medicaid without an elder law attorney’s help. You could walk yourself right into a denial of benefits. You might be penalized for transferring assets before applying. Or, say your child, who is disabled and on government benefits, comes into money from a lawsuit. You don’t want your disabled child’s benefits to go away because they come into money. An attorney can help you understand what is at stake given your situation and ensure that you get and stay approved for benefits.
Medicaid Lawyer In Indiana
As you age, you might need the type of care provided in a nursing home. Most of us will. Paying that nursing home bill each month can erode your assets. Medicaid may help offset those nursing home bills but obtaining Medicaid coverage is not an effortless process. You need an elder law Medicaid attorney’s help to be sure. Click here to learn more about Medicaid planning strategies in Indiana.
About The Authors
Jeff R. Hawkins and Jennifer J. Hawkins co-author this blog with Thomas E. Hynes, a lawyer admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida who has a background in estate planning and elder law. Jeff and Jennifer are Trust & Estate Specialty Board Certified Indiana Trust & Estate Lawyers. They are also active members of the Indiana State Bar Association and the Indiana Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). Jeff is also a member of the Illinois NAELA Chapter.
Jeff is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the Indiana Bar Foundation. He is also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and he served as the 2014-15 President of the Indiana State Bar Association.
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