Elder law attorneys’ Medicaid services are essential for many older people needing long-term care. Sadly, Medicaid misinformation leads many people to pay too much money or needlessly avoid essential care. Part of the misinformation comes from unlicensed companies claiming to be “Medicaid specialists” that offer “senior planning services.” This Article explains why people should seek elder law attorneys’ Medicaid services when their family members experience long-term health problems.

Misinformation about Medicaid and Nursing Homes

These are some of the misunderstandings and false beliefs many people have about nursing home care and Medicaid:

  • Homeowners can’t qualify for Medicaid.
  • The spouses of married nursing home residents can’t have IRAs.
  • Nursing homes or the state “take” people’s homes.
  • Transferring property to your spouse disqualifies you for Medicaid for 5 years.

While some of the above-listed statements are true in some cases, some of them are false, and others only apply in certain cases.

Unlicensed “Elder Care Advocates” and “Senior Planning Services” Providers

These are 4 reasons not to hire an unlicensed company for senior planning services:

  1. No rules require an unlicensed company’s employees to study Medicaid law and policy changes.
  2. No ethics rules hold an unlicensed company’s employees responsible for bad behavior.
  3. An unlicensed company can’t advise on safely protecting assets with lawful gifts.
  4. An unlicensed person who advises and assists in gifts and other asset protection strategies is a criminal acting in the business of a practicing lawyer under Indiana Code Section 33-43-2-1.

Elder Law Attorneys’ Medicaid Services: Knowledge and Ethics

Indiana’s best elder law attorneys spend at least 6 classroom hours annually and 36 hours every 3 years studying Medicaid and long-term care subjects. Also, the Indiana Supreme Court’s Rules of Professional Conduct require all Indiana attorneys to serve their clients ethically.

Elder Law Attorneys’ Medicaid Services Protect People’s Property

Elder law attorneys’ Medicaid services help older people afford care in their homes and nursing homes. Using their deep and current knowledge of Medicaid laws and policies, elder law attorneys often help:

  • Homeowners qualify for Medicaid.
  • The spouses of married nursing home residents keep IRAs, homes, and other property.
  • Use lawful gift plans to protect unmarried nursing home residents’ property.

MORE INFORMATION

Find more information about this and other elder law topics at www.hawkinselderlaw.com and use the “contact us” link or call us at 812-268-8777 to schedule an initial meeting appointment.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Jeff and Jennifer are Trust & Estate Specialty Board Certified Indiana Trust & Estate Lawyers, and 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, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Both Hawkins are admitted to practice law in Indiana, and Jeff Hawkins is admitted to practice law in Illinois.

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