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Discharged From Rehab: Is Your Loved One Really Ready?

One of the things that we hear (a lot) from clients is how panicked they are when a loved one that has been in rehab is being suddenly discharged - but the family doesn't think they're really ready to go home - or, even worse, the family is told that their loved one is being discharged but needs 24/7 care or supervision.

Very few families are ready for this. The logistics of getting care for a person in a home environment may seem easy (just hire someone!), but most families, when faced with the cost, realize that this is not a long-term solution. That's when the questions start:nursing home medicaid

  • Should you quit your job, to care for your loved one?
  • Should you hire someone anyway, even if you (or they) can't afford it long-term?
  • What benefits might be available to pay for care?
  • How long will it take for benefits to kick in?
  • What happens if benefits aren't enough - or if there are no benefits available?

Timing: Seeking Answers Before Your Loved One Is Discharged From Rehab Is Crucial

It is...

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Medicaid Planning - Things to Remember

Get The Help (and Protection) That You Deserve. 

Though there are many complexities to Medicaid planning, it’s important to understand Medicaid is there to help families like yours. Medicaid planning is the best way to ensure you receive the benefits to assure you protect as much of your hard-earned assets as the law allows, and to receive the care you need.

It is also important to understand that Medicaid planning may be a necessary component in ensuring that the spouse “left behind” is not left in poverty. The first step in Medicaid planning is education. The more you know about how Medicaid works, the better you will be able to look out for the interests of your family.

For more detailed information, it’s best to consult with a qualified legal advisor. So think of this as an introduction.

Things to Remember... 

It’s NEVER Too Late

Medicaid planning can begin anytime, even if your loved one is already living in a skilled care facility....

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VA Pension Benefits - The Facts

VA Pension Benefits

The Facts...

VA Pension is a benefit that many veterans just are not aware of, or are often told that they don’t qualify for, even if they can become qualified. If you are a Veteran or a Widow of a Veteran, you may be able to obtain tax free income from the VA to help pay for the cost of home health care, assisted living care, and nursing home care. The benefit is called “Improved Pension.” In addition to the Pension, a person who is housebound or in need of the assistance of another person with activities of daily living may receive additional pay called Housebound Benefits or Aid and Attendance Benefits, which is s supplement to the Pension.

All of the following criteria must be met before a veteran or widow(er) of a veteran can receive Improved Pension benefits:

  • The veteran must have served at least 90 days of active service with at least one day of service during a wartime period.
  • The veteran must have received a discharge that is other...
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Medicaid Planning - The Facts

MEDICAID PLANNING

The Facts...

Assets in a Revocable Living Trust are not protected and must be used to pay for the costs of long term care.

If you are married, your home is exempt and cannot be taken when applying for Medicaid.  If you are single or widowed, your home is exempt up to $552,000 (2015). If you transfer your home to your children, not only will it result in immediate ineligibility for Medicaid, but it could also:

  • Trigger a gift tax,
  • Result in the loss of your homestead tax exemption, and,
  • Result in your child’s spouse (the in-laws) inheriting your home. 

Giving your assets away means losing control. It’s not safe even if you “trust” who you give it to. If that person divorces, goes bankrupt or is sued, all of the money you transferred is at risk. There are asset protection trusts that permit you to keep 100% control of your assets without the risk of losing them if long-term care is needed.

You do not have to wait 60 months to...

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Irrevocable Trusts - The Facts

IRREVOCABLE TRUSTS...

The Facts...

A trust is a contract between the Grantor (the person who creates the trust), the Trustee (one who controls the trust) and the beneficiaries (those entitled to benefit from the trust). You, as Grantor, determine how the trust will be operated by the Trustee and who benefits, how and when.

While a Revocable Living Trust permits you to maintain full control (as Trustee) and have access to all your assets (as beneficiary), an Irrevocable Trust, once created, may prohibit your right to control the trust (as Trustee) or have access to your assets, but you get to decide to what extent.

It is a common misconception that irrevocable trusts, once created, cannot be changed. While that is true of many irrevocable trusts created to avoid taxes (tax reduction or avoidance trusts), it is not true of all irrevocable trusts. An irrevocable trust is a trust you create for the benefit of yourself or others and once created, you, as Grantor, must give up your right...

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Long-Term Care - What About Private Long-Term Care Insurance?

Today we'll be taking a brief look at some aspects of long-term care. For more detailed information, it’s best to consult with a qualified legal advisor. So think of this as an introduction.

There are many complexities to long-term care planning, it’s important to understand that there are options, and programs intended to help families like yours. Long-term care planning is the best way to ensure you protect as much of your hard-earned assets as the law allows, and to receive the care you need.

Let’s Get Started…

What About Private Long-Term Care Insurance?

Most Americans will not be able to self-insure for Long-Term Care.  Therefore, based upon the current condition of health care, long-term care and Medicaid, if you are insurable and long-term care insurance premiums are affordable, such a policy should be integrated into your estate plan to provide protection without the need for transferring assets. 

Long-term care (LTC) insurance has...

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Long-Term Care - What About Paying Your Own Long-Term Care Expenses?

Today we'll be taking a brief look at some aspects of long-term care. For more detailed information, it’s best to consult with a qualified legal advisor. So think of this as an introduction.

There are many complexities to long-term care planning, it’s important to understand that there are options, and programs intended to help families like yours. Long-term care planning is the best way to ensure you protect as much of your hard-earned assets as the law allows, and to receive the care you need.

Let’s Get Started…

What About Paying Your Own Long-Term Care Expenses?

A. Self – Insuring

“Self-insuring,” or paying your own way, may be an option.  However, you can expect to pay approximately $88,000 per year for base nursing home care, and more for better facilities (in Southeast Michigan, generally closer to $100,000/year). Home care can be even more expensive, with 24/7 care costing in excess of $150,000 - $200,000 per year....

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Do You Need To Avoid Probate?

What is Probate?  This is Our Definition & the True Reality -

“Probate is a lawsuit you file against yourself, with your own money, on behalf of your creditors.”

The Facts...

Probate is the legal process of presenting your Will to the Court after your death to authenticate it, and appoint your Executor/Personal Representative. Your Executor/Personal Representative must be appointed by the Court in order to collect and distribute your assets as stated in your Will. However, because it is a legal process, there are many steps that must be followed before your Executor can be appointed.

 

 

  • The probate process requires a Personal Representative be appointed - even in simple and/or uncontested cases.  
  • The Personal Representative must file numerous forms, follow an extensive and somewhat complicated process, and pay attention to deadlines and criteria throughout the entire process.  Most people find this to be exhausting, confusing, and a...
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What Should I Do to Plan For Long-Term Care? - Part 2

What Should I Do to Plan For Long-Term Care? - See Part 1

A properly drafted “income-only” trust that gives a Trustee no discretion to distribute principal to the Grantor-Beneficiary, or to his or her spouse, is still a viable long-term care planning tool.

 

Therefore, a senior doing estate planning may keep the income from an irrevocable, “income only” trust for himself or herself, with the remainder distributable to specific beneficiaries, and qualify for Medicaid (once the applicable “penalty period” has expired) without the assets in the trust being considered by the Department of Human Services as available to pay for the cost of long-term care.

If the home is the only asset to protect, a deed which transfers the property upon death to your trust or your children, will protect the property and the right to Medicaid.  Consideration must also be given to the fact that if the property is sold and the grantor is in the...

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What Should I Do to Plan For Long-Term Care? - Part 1

What can be done to plan for long-term care, ensure that a health crisis or chronic illness will not erode an individual's security and dignity, and provide for family and loved ones?

As you may have already gathered, the answer is not simple. A careful analysis of each individual's personal and financial situation must be done to formulate the proper plan. Factors such as income from social security, pensions and investments; the nature and value of assets; age and health; family situation; and other considerations must be evaluated in order to make the right choices.

 

If long-term care insurance is not an option, and personal income and resources are not sufficient, one planning technique is to transfer assets into an “Asset Protection” Trust, retaining the income for the “Grantor” and preserving the principal of the assets (the assets held by the Trustee) for spouses, children or other beneficiaries. When properly drafted, the trust will provide ...

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