In Florida, the average cost of one month’s stay in a long term nursing home bed is $9,485. Paying this cost of care out of pocket would destitute anyone with modest savings. It would similarly destitute anyone with considerable savings should they need long term care for several years. Fortunately, Phillips & Finley LLC can help you preserve your assets and plan for your long term care needs through Medicaid planning.
Qualifying for Medicaid programs that help pay for nursing home and assisted living costs generally requires a determination that you 1) meet the level of medical care required for the program for which you are seeking assistance, 2) that your income is below $2349 a month and 3) that your countable assets are below $2000. Though these financial requirements seem extremely restrictive, there are ways to help you qualify for Medicaid under these standards that can increase the quality of your life and maximize inheritance for loved ones.
When an applicant for Medicaid receives monthly income in excess of the income cap ($2349), an Elder Law Attorney can assist in establishing a Medicaid Qualified Irrevocable Income Only Trust, often referred to as a QIT or MIT. This trust allows an applicant to qualify for Medicaid benefits despite the receipt of monthly income in excess of the income cap. The legal reasons why this trust is accepted as means to circumvent the income cap are complicated, but the end result is not. Essentially, a trust is drafted by an Elder Law Attorney and executed by the applicant or their attorney-in-fact under a durable power of attorney. The trust is taken to the bank and a new account established in the name of the irrevocable income only trust. An Elder Law Attorney advises on how to fund the trust each month. To ease funding, automatic transfers or deposits of income are directed to the trust account every month and the issues regarding excess income are resolved. The Attorneys at Phillips & Finley have the knowledge and experience to provide assistance for you in the creation, execution and funding of a Medicaid Qualified Irrevocable Income Only Trust.
When an applicant has countable assets in excess of the $2000 asset cap, and Elder Law Attorney can assist in creating a personalized spenddown strategy that is in line with the applicant’s wishes and needs. It is a common misconception among seniors that all of their assets must be spent on their care prior to applying for Medicaid benefits. This is not the case. There are several ways in which an individual can spend down their assets, qualify for Medicaid, and still leave an inheritance or funds available for themselves or their spouse. Many seniors also believe that all of the assets they own count toward the $2000 assets cap. This too is not the case. There are several non-countable assets or ways to exempt assets from counting toward the $2000 asset cap. Kobi A. Finley, Attorney with Phillips & Finley, has experience with a variety of spend down scenarios and has successfully saved families several thousands of dollars over the many years she has successfully sought Medicaid eligibility for her clients. Call Phillips & Finley today to see what Medicaid spenddown strategies may be available to you and your loved ones.
Phillips & Finley LLC, is a Caring, Knowledgeable and Affordable Elder Law Firm
Attorney Kobi A. Finley at Phillips & Finley LLC can handle both pre-planning and crisis planning scenarios. She provides quality legal service and sound practical advice. Call for an appointment today to discuss your options for planning for long term care 386-734-5959.