Experienced Rochester, NY,
Edler Law Attorney
Elder Law Attorney in Rochester, NY
Seniors face complex legal concerns that are often different from what they faced when they were younger. As a senior or someone who’s helping a senior make important life and financial decisions, call our elder law attorneys since any action taken may have unintended legal effects.
What Is Elder Law?
Elder law refers to legal matters that deal with the special and varied needs of senior citizens and their families. At Ronald Axelrod & Associates, we use a holistic approach when working with our senior clients, taking into consideration their emotional and physical well being, financial situation, long-term healthcare needs, requirements of other family members, and the client's quality of life. Our goal is to offer peace of mind that the legal advice and solutions we provide will always be in the best interest of our senior clients and their families.
Contact us today to learn why we have been a trusted and recommended Rochester, NY, elder law firm for over 35 years.
Medicaid Asset Protection Planning
What Is Medicaid Planning?
The focus of Medicaid planning is to make informed financial decisions to protect your assets before nursing home care is necessary. However, we have several proven strategies that can preserve a major portion of your assets, even if skilled care is imminent. Medicare Part A only covers up to 100 days of skilled nursing care per illness, so depending on Medicare for extended nursing home care is not a workable long-term strategy. Many people rely on Medicaid, a needs-based joint state and federal reimbursement program, that is available to eligible individuals with limited resources and income to help them pay for their long-term care. Our knowledgeable Medicaid asset protection attorneys are on top of the ever changing Medicaid rules and regulations and ensure that you will have a firm understanding of the options available to you. It is never too late to protect your assets.
Protecting Your Assets
Many people gain entry to nursing facilities by self-paying until they become eligible for Medicaid. However, this strategy may unnecessarily use up funds that could otherwise be protected and available for your family. Medicaid asset protection planning focuses on keeping the highest value of assets in the hands of a spouse or in other protected entities (trusts) so that all of a person’s personal savings are not exhausted due to the high cost of nursing home care. However, Medicaid asset protection should not be handled without the assistance of a skilled legal team, since making a mistake or unsanctioned transfer can cause you to jeopardize your eligibility for Medicaid.
What Are Some Medicaid Planning Options?
You may be able to transfer money or real estate to a loved one or make annual gifts to spend down your assets, if you do so well before the need for nursing home care. In situations in which nursing home care becomes immediate and you did not have adequate time to initiate standard asset protection options, you may still have some opportunities to preserve your wealth. While better options exist the sooner you start your planning, it is still never too late to do Medicaid planning.
Rochester, NY, elder law attorneys, Ronald J. Axelrod & Associates, will work closely with you and your family to financially prepare for short or long-term nursing home care should it be necessary. There are also several options available for in-home (stay-at-home) care, if that is what is preferred. We will craft a customized Medicaid asset protection plan that will focus on protecting your assets, but also allows for you to select a nursing facility of your choice.
When a power of attorney alone is not sufficient, a guardianship is established with court approval to make sure that a loved one's physical, as well as financial, well being are taken care of. There are two different types of guardianship: one is primarily used for people who are mentally or physically incapacitated, such as elderly seniors or brain trauma or disease patients. Another guardianship pertains to the care of minor or disabled children. Many times, proper planning can avoid the cost and expense, initial and ongoing, of a guardianship. With enough lead time, we can arrange matters so that a guardianship proceeding can be avoided. This is not always possible. We will be glad to discuss options with you.
Coordination with Financial Planners
Elder law attorneys and financial planners who work with seniors typically approach the same problems for their clients from different perspectives. Today, the need for helping seniors facing serious health and long-term care issues is so demanding, that it's best to have both an elder law attorney and a financial advisor work together for the benefit of their client. We have long-standing relationships with many financial planners and appreciate why it is in our clients' best interest to maintain a team approach.
The elder law attorneys and paralegals at Ronald Axelrod & Associates welcome the opportunity to work with you and your trusted financial advisor. To schedule an introductory meeting, please contact us.