Legal Checkup: Being Prepared for Illness--Your Long Term Care Costs

This edition of the Koldin Report E-Newsletter continues a series on the importance of an annual legal checkup of your estate planning documents. Just the way you go to the doctor for an annual check up, you should do a regular check up of your estate planning.

In this newsletter we discuss whether you are prepared for Long Term Care costs. All prior newsletters are saved on our website. You can read them by clicking here.

At the initial appointment with our clients, the Koldin Law Center, P.C. reviews your current Will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy.

Even our current clients who meet with us for file review appointments often discover that their current legal documents need to be updated to meet changes that have occurred in the lives of their families.

We also discuss what planning you have done in the event long term care becomes necessary either at home or at a nursing home.

How to Pay for Long Term Care

If you need long term care in a Nursing Home or at Home, which in Upstate New York costs over $10,000 per month, there are 3 ways to pay for it:

(1) Pay for your care with your life savings
(2) Pay for your care with Long Term Care Insurance
(3) Pay for your care with Medicaid

How to Plan for Long Term Care Costs

In planning for how you are going to pay for Nursing Home or Home Care if you someday need these services, you have 4 basic choices:

(1) Do Nothing
(2) Purchase Long Term Care Insurance
(3) Make Gifts to your Children
(4) Transfer assets to an Irrevocable Trust

Each of this options has advantages and disadvantages. For more information on all these options, please see our website by clicking here.

Medicaid's 5 Year Look Back Period

When you apply for Medicaid, the Medicaid Agency will review your finances for the 5 years immediately prior to the date of application. You will be required to provide 5 years of all your financial statements and 5 years of any real estate transactions.

Under the Medicaid law, gifts or transfers to a person or to an Irrevocable Trust that you make within 5 years prior to applying for Medicaid coverage for Nursing Home costs, are presumed to be for the purpose of depleting your life savings in order to qualify for Medicaid.

In order to avoid the imposition of a transfer penalty period of ineligibility, you must prove that transfer (gift) was made exclusively for a purpose other than to qualify for Medicaid.

Therefore, if you desire to pursue gifting or establishing an Irrevocable Trust, your best chance of protecting your life savings in the event Nursing Home care is needed is to do your estate planning more than 5 years before you need long term care.

For more information about the Medicaid laws and the transfer rules, please see our website by clicking here.

At the Koldin Law Center, P.C., located in East Syracuse, New York, we have over 50 years of experience helping individuals plan for immediate crisis and long term care. Our attorneys are available to discuss your estate planning options. We do not charge a fee for the initial consultation. We welcome your children, family attorney, accountant, and/or financial planner to be present at the initial consultation.

There is something you can do.

Our Attorneys are available to speak to your organization

Our Attorneys speak to groups throughout New York State as a public service. If you would like to arrange for one of our Attorneys to speak to your group, please contact our office.

We appreciate your referrals

We have been told by many clients who are in a crisis that they wish they had known about our firm much sooner. We are proud of the many families we have helped in times of crisis.

We are also proud of the many families we helped avoid financial crisis by doing estate planning in advance.

We all share the responsibility for making our family and friends aware of the planning options available to them.

Your referral to the Koldin Law Center could make a major difference in the lives of your family and friends if they are someday faced with a long term illness.

Remember that the Koldin Law Center offers many services for clients of all ages. Our services range from basic estate planning such as a simple will to complex estate planning including asset preservation planning.

THERE IS NO FEE FOR THE INITIAL CONSULTATION