Medicaid Planning Serving Families Throughout Melville

Long Island Medicaid Planning Lawyers

Make Plans to Secure Your Future 

Did you know that by the time you’re 65 years old, there’s a 70 percent chance you’ll need long-term care? It can cost hundreds of dollars a day, making it prohibitively expensive for most New Yorkers. Fortunately, you can take steps to qualify for Medicaid to cover the costs. This is true, even if you have a high-value estate with lots of assets. First, you’ll need to undergo Medicaid planning to transfer assets from your estate. Then, you can meet the eligibility requirements when it’s time to apply for Medicaid.

Medicaid planning is complicated, with numerous rules and regulations governing the program, but our Medicaid planning attorneys on Long Island are here to help. After reviewing your situation, your lawyer can review planning options to help you qualify. 

Because Medicaid has a five-year look-back period for nursing home coverage, you need to start early. Reach out to us at (631) 519-9831 or fill out our online contact form today.

Medicaid Planning Strategies

Your lawyer will discuss your options for qualifying for the program. 

This might include:

  • Spousal asset transfers
  • Irrevocable funeral trusts
  • Annuities
  • Spending down assets
  • Medicaid asset protection trusts

These are just some of the possible strategies. Schedule your consultation today so you can review your options.

Protect Your Spouse with Medicaid Planning

If you are married, you are likely concerned about what will happen to your spouse if you need long-term care. Sadly, far too many people lose everything when their spouses receive nursing home care, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Your Long Island Medicaid planning lawyer can review strategies to protect your spouse while still helping you qualify for Medicaid.

While Medicaid has spousal impoverishment rules in place, they often don’t provide enough protection to allow the healthy spouse to maintain the same standard of living. However, you can consider other options, such as a spousal asset transfer or spousal refusal to protect your loved one. 

Trusts for Medicaid Planning

Many New York residents use trusts to help them gain eligibility for Medicaid. However, it’s important to understand that not all trusts are equal regarding Medicaid eligibility. For instance, a revocable trust will not help you reduce your assets to become eligible for the program. Instead, you must create an irrevocable trust for this purpose. You will choose a trustee to manage the assets and then transfer your property into the trust. Once transferred, the assets are effectively removed from your estate. Thus, they won’t be included in the estate’s value as long as the look-back period has passed.

While you won’t own the assets, you can still benefit from them, meaning you can still earn an income. Additionally, you can choose beneficiaries to receive the assets after you pass away.

Look-Back Period

New York imposes a look-back period of 60 months when applying for Medicaid for nursing home care. Additionally, there is a 30-month look-back period for at-home care services. Any assets transferred out of your estate during this time can still count toward your estate’s value. For instance, if you gave your child $10,000 last year, it will still be a part of your estate as far as Medicaid is concerned. Because of these look-back periods, it’s wise to start planning early. 

Jointly Held Accounts

In terms of Medicaid eligibility, you typically own 100% of your jointly owned accounts. That means if you share a bank account with your child, the money inside will be added to your assets when applying for Medicaid. However, you’ll own 50 percent of assets inside of shared accounts that require two signatures to withdraw funds. While this is the standard rule, exceptions do apply from time to time. For instance, if your name is on a shared bank account with your child and you can prove that they contributed all of the money, you might be able to remove it from your list of assets. 

Due to the complexities, it’s wise to consult with a Medicaid lawyer on Long Island to determine the impact of your accounts. Call us at (631) 519-9831 today.

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