Asset protection is a vital part of Medicaid Planning. Medicaid planning permits married nursing home residents, or potential nursing home residents, to ensure that their spouse will not be impoverished by nursing home expenses and that single nursing home residents retain some dignity and are not effectively destitute. Medicaid planning permits nursing home residents who have worked, paid their taxes, saved some money and played by the rules, to be able to leave at least some inheritance to their families as a legacy of a lifetime of work. Our elder law attorneys apply the law to the facts of your situation to greatly increase your chances of a better result than without planning.
Federal law has been specifically written to protect the income and some of the assets of a spouse when his or her spouse goes into a nursing home. Federal law also permits some of the assets of single nursing home residents to be preserved in a variety of circumstances. Kentucky, like some other states, has made changes in the regulations designed to work around and defeat the intent of the federal law. This is done to solve Kentucky’s budgetary problems at the expense of the people who have already paid a lifetime of taxes and supported the Medicaid system over the past 40 years. We advise our clients of their rights and work within the law to preserve and protect the most assets possible.
As with most types of planning, the earlier, the better.
The Medicaid laws drastically limit the ability to make outright transfers of assets. The laws are full of traps that will not only drain people of all of their assets, but could easily leave them owing more money than they started with if an attempt to transfer assets runs afoul of Medicaid’s often vague rules. However, there are still numerous tools available that permit a person who has been careful with his or her money to pass some of it to the family if specific rules and procedures are meticulously followed.
It is important to note that the interpretation of regulations by the state Medicaid agencies is continually changing. We work with older citizens and their families to achieve their objectives within the letter and spirit of the law.
Now that you know a little about the law and policy behind asset protection, click here to learn more about our Medicaid Planning process.