Time for First Contact
Consider contacting an Elder Law attorney before you, your spouse, or your parents make any significant transfer of property. Consider getting the advice of an Elder Law Attorney:
- - before giving away a house, a part interest in a house, or a remainder interest in a house.
- before selling a home, whether you intend to take cash, sell on contract, or buy another home.
- before giving significant gifts of stock or money to a child, relative, or charity.
- before buying an annuity.
Consider contacting an Elder Law attorney before you, your spouse, or your parents need long term care. Good times to talk things over with an Elder Law attorney may be:
- - when you start to feel that you, your spouse, or your parents may in the foreseeable future need to enter long term care.
- before you, your spouse, or your parents become overwhelmed by the responsibilities and the work of providing home care.
- when you first notice that you, your spouse, or your parents may be becoming less able to manage business or financial affairs, so that steps can be taken to establish Powers of Attorney and the like so that others can later handle business (and make transfers to help a person qualify for Medicaid while saving some money for the well spouse).
Consider contacting an Elder Law attorney if anyone tells you that you, your spouse, or your parents should do something new. Be cautious if someone suggests:
- - that you, your spouse, or your parents should do something in order to prepare for Medicaid.
- that you, your spouse, or your parents should do something in order to preserve assets from a Medicaid spend down.
- that you, your spouse, or your parents should do something so that your assets may be passed to your spouse or your children, instead of being used to pay medical bills.
If you contact an Elder Law attorney at such times, the Elder Law attorney can review your situation, and your own personal goals, and help you formulate a plan that will best meet your situation and goals, while maximizing benefits, and limiting negatives. This may allow you to position yourself in advance of a Medicaid application, and may also help you to position yourself to take advantage of additional programs and options of which you might not otherwise be aware. It may also help preserve assets from Medicaid spend down or later recapture, or may help save expenses that family members might have to cover later if preplanning is not done.
Time For Second Contact
When the time comes that a person needs to actually enter long term care, you may benefit from contacting an Elder Law attorney. This is true whether the care will be in a nursing home, assisted living facility, adult foster home, or even in your own home. If possible, contact the Elder Law attorney before the person actually enters long term care.
Similarly, when the time comes that a person needs to apply for Medicaid, you may benefit from contacting an elder law attorney before making the actual application.
While many long term planning options may no longer be available, a knowledgeable Elder Law attorney may still be able to save the person or family significant money and/or significant future legal fees and difficulties.
The sequence of events and timing of such matters can be very significant. Once certain actions have been taken, certain applications have been made, or certain deadlines have passed, it can be impossible to take advantage of certain options.
A change in a sequence of events by as little as a day may result in considerable savings.
In like fashion, once certain actions have been taken, or certain funds spent, it can be impossible to recover these funds or to save them from Medicaid spend down. This can make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases.
NOTE: The above are only some of the times that one can benefit from legal advice from a person who is well versed in elder law matters, Medicare and Medicaid issues, estate planning, wills, trusts, guardianships and conservatorships or similar matters. The above should not be considered legal advice, nor should it be taken as a statement of the only time that one might benefit from consulting a legal or other professional.