The concerns older Americans have over issues such as nursing home care, Medicaid and Social Security have made elder law one of the fastest growing and rapidly changing areas of legal practice today. Careful planning for long-term care can ensure the kind and quality of nursing care you want, and it can keep long-term care costs from depleting your entire estate.
Our lawyers can show you how to avoid depleting your estate with long-term care costs, offering effective guidance and comprehensive legal services for elder law-related issues. These include:
- Medicaid planning
- Long-term care planning
- Long-term care insurance
- Asset protection
- Wealth transfer planning
- Inheritance and estate tax planning
- Retirement planning
- Trusts, wills and powers of attorney
Long-Term Care Options
People begin facing topics related to elder law as they and their parents start to age. One of the greatest concerns people face as they age is identifying the right nursing home for their long-term care, particularly because traditional health insurance does not cover these costs. For many families, securing the thousands of dollars a month needed for quality nursing home care is a substantial concern.
With long-term care planning and the assistance of an elder law attorney, you can protect your assets and receive benefits from Medicaid earlier. This can give you peace of mind that you or your loved one is taken care of and your life savings will be protected and passed on to your family.
How to Avoid the Recovery Claims of Medicaid Providers
Though their similar names can cause the programs to be conflated, Medicare and Medicaid are vastly different in their purposes and benefits. Medicare is a health insurance program at the federal level that is available for those age 65 or older and does not come with any financial regulations or requirements. Medicaid, on the other hand, is a federal health care program that closely resembles the welfare program.
While Medicaid is mainly funded by the federal government, in Pennsylvania, the Department of Human Services administers Medicaid benefits. Unlike with Medicare, these state benefits and services can come at a heavy price. Essentially, once the person who received the benefits dies, along with the spouse if married, the Department of Human Services can make what is known as an estate recovery claim against his or her estate for the value of what has been provided.
This can significantly reduce the estate and leave little or nothing for beneficiaries. Avoiding recovery claims or a government spend-down of assets requires proper planning with regard to Medicaid’s five-year look-back period.
Why Hire an Elder Law Attorney?
Long-term care and Medicaid regulations are complicated and can be confusing. Hiring an elder law attorney can offer many advantages. An elder law attorney can:
- Guide you through decisions that will help you with aging in place.
- Help you protect your assets.
- Address your long-term care needs.
- Assure your estate planning protects your family and serves your goals.
An experienced elder law attorney is sensitive to the mental and physical difficulties that can accompany the aging process. They bring the knowledge of the issues facing older adults to their cases, such as housing, health, autonomy, financial well-being, quality of life and long-term care.
Schedule a Consultation With MPL Law Firm
The attorneys at MPL Law Firm can set up transfers, annual and one-time gifting exceptions and provide other effective strategies to preserve your eligibility for benefits and protect your assets at the same time. From the start of our relationship with you and throughout every step of the legal process, we are committed to providing aggressive advocacy and strategic legal counsel, along with earning your trust.
Whether you are addressing a crisis situation or planning ahead to secure resources and assets, the team at MPL Law Firm is equipped to assist you and your family in elder law matters. If you believe you may have a case related to elder law, contact us at MPL Law Firm to schedule a consultation and case evaluation.