Our Long Island Medicaid Planning Attorneys Work For You
Before you apply for Medicaid benefits, it is vital that you have a plan in place. An experienced attorney can help you ensure that your healthcare needs are taken care of and that you can avoid having to shed assets in order to meet eligibility requirements.
At Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern, our attorneys have been helping people and families navigate the Medicaid system and prepare for the future for over five decades. Our Long Island Medicaid planning attorney team will work with you to create a personalized plan that is tailored to your unique individual situation and needs.
How Medicaid Works in New York
Medicaid is a federal-state program designed to help cover healthcare costs for impoverished people with certain disabilities and/or who need long term care.
Many people would rather not talk about the possibility that they may eventually need to move to a nursing home or require in-home care. At the same time, people and families often worry about whether they will have the money to pay for these services if and when the time comes.
The Importance of Medicaid Planning
Medicaid planning is key because of the already expensive cost of these services and the likelihood that they will continue to get more costly. Nursing homes alone cost the average resident more than they can afford on Long Island and can wipe them out!
Demand for nursing home services is only expected to grow. About 16 percent of the U.S. is currently over the age of 65. That share is expected to balloon to 23 percent in the next four decades, meaning some 100 million Americans will be over 65 by about 2060. This aging population only means more people could require some kind of long-term care.
The Medicaid system comes with a complicated web of eligibility requirements and restrictions. That includes a cap on the amount of assets that a person can have and still be able to get nursing home coverage. There are also limits on how you can transfer your assets in order to become eligible for such coverage.
A Long Island Medicaid planning attorney at our firm will devise a plan that protects your assets as much as possible while ensuring that you get the full Medicaid benefits available. We will also help you understand your options for transferring assets and explore ways to do so while also providing for your partner and children or grandchildren.
It is important that you start thinking about Medicaid planning long before you actually need benefits to cover nursing home or in-home care. At the same time, if you or your spouse unexpectedly become ill and needs nursing home care, it is never too late to work with a Long Island Medicaid planning attorney to help you pay for the care and protect the assets that you worked hard to obtain.
Medicaid Planning Basics: What is a “Medicaid Trust”?
To truly understand how important it is to plan ahead, it helps to know and understand the basic income restrictions for Medicaid eligibility considering that the program is designed for those who are impoverished.
There are a number of ways that a person who is over the income and asset limits can become eligible, including transferring assets to a trust – unofficially referred to as the “irrevocable Medicaid trust.” A Long Island Medicaid planning attorney at our firm can help you understand and explore your options.
Irrevocable Medicaid trusts are a helpful tool for Medicaid planning. As the name suggests, the trust cannot be altered by the person who creates it or anyone else. The trust can be used to move ownership of large assets, like a family home into the trust so that it does not count against you for Medicaid eligibility purposes.
The trust can be structured to give you the right to live in the home for the rest of your life and the right to any and all income from the property while you are alive while preserving your property tax exemptions like STAR, enhanced STAR and veterans. The irrevocable trust can provide that the trustee – the person authorized to manage the trust – can sell the property ONLY at your direction, if needed; thereafter, the trust can purchase another home for you.
Irrevocable trusts are also often used to transfer cash and highly appreciated assets, like stocks. One benefit of putting the money or stock in a trust, instead of transferring it outright, is that you can retain some control over it in a trust. Moving stocks to a trust also avoids your loved ones from having to pay capital gains taxes when they later sell the shares after your death.
Irrevocable trusts are often funded with various assets, which means several steps are required to properly transfer those assets. A Long Island Medicaid planning attorney at our firm can ensure the trust is properly funded and the agreement is drawn up to indicate your wishes for how the assets are to be controlled and eventually distributed.
Why You Should Consult with an Experienced Medicaid Lawyer
An experienced Medicaid planning lawyer will help you understand the benefits that you can receive and the eligibility requirements for getting those benefits. The attorney will also help you take the crucial steps of arranging your assets so that your Medicaid benefits are not denied or delayed.
Speak With a Long Island Medicaid Planning Attorney
If you or a loved one is struggling with long-term care planning or navigating the Medicaid system, DDSS can help.
Our offices are conveniently located in central Suffolk County, but we serve all of Long Island and the greater New York area. We are also pleased to meet with clients via Zoom, FaceTime and other video conferencing tools. Call us, contact us online or use the live chat function to schedule a consultation with a Long Island Medicaid planning attorney today.