Sophisticated Guidance Throughout the United States
As your loved ones grow older, they may require more comprehensive forms of medical care, including long-term care services. Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and in-home care can be prohibitively expensive and not affordable for many families. Paying out-of-pocket can quickly drain someone’s life savings, which in turn prevents them from making the most of their estate plans and bequeathing any planned inheritances.
Medicaid benefits can potentially cover expenses associated with many forms of long-term care. However, applying and qualifying for Medicaid can be exceptionally difficult without knowledgeable guidance.
Our Pittsburgh Medicaid planning lawyer and CPA are committed to helping you and your loved ones access the care that they need without sacrificing what you have worked so hard to build. We want to help you avoid the scenario where you are forced to rely on your own financial resources to manage the rising costs of necessary services. Our Medicaid planning lawyers at the Mt. Jackson Group is extensively familiar with how to proactively prepare for Medicaid eligibility, and we will work to put you and your estate in the best possible position.
Understanding whether you qualify for Medicaid benefits can be overwhelming and confusing. In Pennsylvania, different types of benefits come with their own sets of eligibility requirements. The specific eligibility criteria you must meet will depend on the level of care you are seeking.
In most cases, you will only be eligible for Medicaid benefits if you meet strict income and asset limits. This means you can only have so much income or hold so many assets before you become ineligible.
For purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility, “income” includes your wages (with certain permissible deductions), interest, pensions, dividends, and Social Security. If you live with your spouse, their income will be counted together with yours. Certain types of income, including some other government benefits, do not count toward your income limit.
Assets refer to financial resources or other lucrative items. Examples include cash, funds in bank accounts, additional vehicles, stocks, bonds, and life insurance policies. Your home, a single vehicle, and a certain amount of money reserved for burial expenses do not count toward your asset limit.
Medicaid’s income and asset limits are extremely restrictive. If you have considerable assets or income, you will need to engage in careful planning if you wish to meet these limits and become eligible. You must also be careful not to inadvertently exceed the income or asset limits while receiving benefits, as doing so can result in serious penalties.
Our Pittsburgh Medicaid planning attorney and CPA can help you navigate the program’s complex eligibility requirements. We can assess your circumstances and advise how to restructure your estate so that you or a loved one can access crucial benefits.
Failing to appropriately plan for Medicaid eligibility and other consequences of incapacity can result in devastating practical and financial consequences. If you wait until a need arises, it may be too late to avoid having to “spend down.”
“Spending down” refers to the process of selling lucrative assets and draining funds from various accounts to pay out-of-pocket long-term care expenses. Doing so is obviously not an ideal or efficient use of your resources, and the result is someone being left with little to nothing in their estate. Eventually, you will “spend down” enough to meet Medicaid’s income and asset limits and qualify you for benefits going forward.
Effective Medicaid planning helps you avoid having to spend down. By strategically repositioning, restructuring, and transferring elements of your estate, our Pittsburgh Medicaid planning team can help you meet income and asset limits without actually liquidating your resources. This will require knowledgeable guidance and a thorough understanding of estate planning, tax planning, and asset protection. We can walk you through how the process works and help you and your family make informed decisions.
ProtectiveOur approach is to maximize your assets and provide long-term financial well-being for the next generation of your family.
SupportiveNo matter how small you think your assets are, we will provide maximization strategies and support you every step of the way.
ProactiveWe encourage clients to start the estate planning process as soon as possible in order to take full advantage of the long term benefits.
If you are young and healthy, you might be wondering why you need to worry about Medicaid planning. The truth is you are never too young to start taking steps to protect your and your family’s futures.
Consider a scenario where you do not engage in Medicaid planning because you do not foresee a situation where you might require expensive long-term care. You develop a debilitating condition or experience a tragic accident that leaves you unable to fully care for yourself. If you had prepared for this possibility through Medicaid planning, you would likely be in a position to immediately receive benefits to manage the costs associated with your ongoing and intensive care. Without any Medicaid planning, however, you will be forced to pay out-of-pocket. Because the costs are so unsustainable, you will quickly “spend down” available resources – including, potentially, your life savings – until you qualify for the program. Though you will now be able to get the benefits you need, you will have no resources to leave your family.
Our Pittsburgh Medicaid planning lawyer and CPA are committed to helping you avoid the unfavorable outcomes associated with exorbitant long-term care expenses. At the Mt. Jackson Group, we take a big picture approach to helping you prepare for and protect your future. Our team is invested in your welfare and can provide the guidance you need to secure peace of mind.