With costs of nursing home care skyrocketing, aging middle class couples who saved for their golden years find that their savings start to vanish when one spouse needs 24/7 care. The community spouse may have many years of good health ahead of her, but could face poverty and dependency if she does not plan things out for Medicaid to take over the cost of her beloved’s care. Careful planning can prevent a crisis, but failure to plan can result in unnecessary loss of marital savings.
As elder law attorneys, our loyalty is to you as our client. We evaluate your specific situation and we apply the laws that were adopted by Congress and implemented by the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and Social Security Administration, and by the State of New Jersey/ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS). The regulations are a dense thicket which we are accustomed to interpreting. If Congress created an opportunity for you to preserve assets for your family and to become eligible, we find that opportunity through legal analysis, and we marshall the evidence necessary to prove your eligibility. When local Medicaid agencies misapply their own regulations, or fail to follow the requirements of federal law, we represent you and advocate for what the law allows.
Few people have purchased long-term care insurance to help them pay for nursing home care, and Medicaid is the only government program they can turn to. If you get the right advice, you may learn that your spouse can become eligible much quicker than you thought.
Is Medicaid planning improper or unethical? Of course not. It is the flip side of tax planning that people do to minimize their exposure to income tax or estate tax. Courts throughout the land have, for decades, recognized that the government creates the Medicaid eligibility rules and people are entitled to organize their affairs to avail themselves of the benefit of those rules. The NJ Supreme Court observed in In re Keri, 181 N.J. 50; 853 A. 2d 2009 (2004), held that it could be presumed that “’a competent, reasonable individual … would prefer that his property pass to his child rather than serve as a source of payment for Medicaid and nursing home care bills.’” It had already been established that the same presumption applies to protecting the marital assets for the community spouse. Matter of Labis, 314 N.J. Super. 140, 714 A.2d 335 (App. Div. 1998).
Medicaid Planning is another tool in the toolbox of an elder law attorney to help protect you through the aging & disability process.
Contact us for a Medicaid Planning consultation … 732-382-6070