What Is Estate Planning?

Learn about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid, and discover attorney secrets for protecting your assets while qualifying for Medicaid benefits. Understand the ethical dilemmas and recommended resources for estate planning and Medicaid asset protection information

What Is Estate Planning?
Estate Planning is not just for the wealthy

To Protect Your Savings You Need to Know !

What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

How do I leave an inheritance to my family and not end up giving everything I worked so hard for all my life to the state?

My daughter and her family moved from across the country into my home to provide care for me. How do I protect the family home so that my family member can remain in the home without financial consequences or even lose the house after I die?

Can I pay for alternative medical treatment under Medicaid?

I have always had the financial resources to pay for my children and grandchildren to fly to visit me several times a year. Will that change when I qualify for Medicaid?

I need Medicaid asset protection information, can you help me?

These are all common questions I receive on a daily basis. Estate planning and trusts are important to put in place, no matter what your net worth. There is a theme throughout my site, that being proactive is the key. I encourage you to take time to educate yourself and learn so that you can make educated decisions, instead of functioning under undue stress and crisis mode. Being proactive also can save you lots of money.

Estate Planning 

Of course, I understand that many caregivers out there are dealing with the uncooperative parent and you are forced to function in this mode. For those of you, I strongly recommend seeking the advice of an elder law attorney as soon as possible. It may cost more in the long run, and you will not be up to speed with the legalese or jargon, but then you must be strong enough to stop and frequently ask questions and write things down. Do not feel stupid, intimidated or uncomfortable. There are not many of us out there that understand what these attorneys are talking about. It was all gibberish to me and I still have to look things up on occasion.

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    Some of you reading this may question the ethical dilemma of taking advantage of the Medicaid system to avoid privately paying out of pocket for a nursing home.

    Did you know that the average cost of a nursing home is $80, 000 a year for private pay patients? That is over $6,600 a month. That covers room and board when you are private pay. That does not include depends, nutritional supplements or any other needs that the aging senior family member may need during a nursing home stay. A private pay nursing home patient is charged for every toothbrush, tube of toothpaste, cream or lotion. Many family members do not find this out until they get a bill. Then they are left in a state of shock at the exorbitant prices they have been charged. Knowing the answer to “What is Estate Planning” may change that shock to peace of mind.

    Medicaid eligibility requires that a person spend down assets and allow an individual to retain $2,000 in cash or other countable assets to receive Medicaid. Could you feel safe with only this amount of money to your name?

    In his book, How to Protect Your Family’s Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs- Medicaid Secrets, K. Gabriel Heiser, Eldercare Law Attorney makes a good point.
    ”But it is certainly not unethical simply to avail yourself of the laws as they were enacted by the government in order to minimize your expenditures on nursing home care, and pass those savings on to your children.”

    The information on this site is to begin your educational process. As with any government agency, Medicaid and qualifying for Medicaid differs. Medicaid asset protection information is available to everyone. The system is so convoluted, as Medicaid is a shared federal and state program. It was established by the federal government, but is administered by the individual states. To make things even more difficult, just as there are 50 different versions of Medicaid, the counties within those states may interpret the rules differently.

    It is important to learn as much as you can, about the system and the terminology. But, nothing will be more beneficial to you than an appointment with a local elder law attorney.

    What is estate planning? Simply put, it is putting a plan in place. A plan that allows your family and the financial goals you want to accomplish for them to be met, after you die. Estate planning is a process that includes writing a will, but also involves including your financial assets, business (if there is any), medical, all insurance information and family in that planning process.

    Listen to what our expert elder law attorney has to say.

    There are several components that are necessary to estate planning. Let’s take a look at these on the Estate Planning Checklist Page.

    Have more questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Question section of the website. You will find a lot of different questions answered directly.