Elder Law is comprised of the wide-variety of unique legal issues that our growing population of elderly individuals face including planning for the post-death administration of their estates (see Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts), issues that arise when their capacity for making decisions related to their personal care and well-being and financial affairs become diminished as a result of dementia or other mental or physical causes (see Durable General Powers of Attorney, Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Living Wills, and Guardianships & Conservatorships) and planning for health care and long term care and the high costs involved.
The high costs of long term care can have a devastating effect on the nest egg that elderly individuals have built during their lives. That can be a very scary prospect for people. Careful advance planning with the assistance of experienced legal counsel can help to protect assets and make facing the potential of going into long term care less scary.
Many families with loved ones facing the need to move into assisted living or long term care will need to look to the Medicaid program administered by the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare to help with paying the costs of such care. The rules applicable to the Medicaid program are very complex and confusing to people who are not familiar with them on a daily basis. There are many myths and misunderstandings that get passed around in the community about the Medicaid program, how it works, how eligibility is determined, how the State looks at an individual’s assets in determining eligibility and recovering payments made by the State under the Medicaid program and what the rules are with respect to gifting assets to others.
We at Todd Rossman Law have the experience to help dispel those myths and misunderstandings and to guide you and your family through the myriad of rules, written and unwritten, that are applicable in the Medicaid planning, eligibility and recovery process. We assist clients with advance planning to minimize the potentially devastating effects of future long term care costs. We also assist families with loved ones who have moved into assisted living, or long term care who or are facing the prospect of doing so, with preparing the Medicaid application and gathering the necessary documentation that is required to be submitted with it and guiding them through the eligibility process. We also can provide strategies and techniques that may be available for protecting assets and, if there is a spouse still living at home, making sure that the maximum amount of the couple’s assets and income possible is protected for that spouse to help ensure that his or her own maintenance needs are met. Finally, after a Medicaid recipient (or their spouse) dies and the State of Idaho seeks to recover from the recipient’s (or spouse’s) estate the Medicaid payments that had been made on behalf of the recipient, we can guide those administering the estate in addressing the State’s recovery claim, identifying what assets that are subject to the State’s claim and what claims, costs and expenses have priority for payment over the State’s claim.
Whether you are facing long term care issues yourself, or have a family member who is, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions and concerns. Many of the planning strategies that may be available are time-sensitive so it is important not to delay in scheduling an appointment.