Georgia Elder Law Attorney
MAKE SURE YOUR LOVED ONES GET THE BENEFITS THEY DESERVE.
Keeping up with changes in federal and state Medicaid regulations can be challenging. Understanding how the various laws impact social security, real estate, and other assets is often overwhelming.
Depend on J. L. Williamson Law Group to guide you through the Medicaid complexities to help you qualify for the benefits you need. We will help you understand how these laws relate to your specific situation and work with you to establish planning strategies that will protect your income and assets
Medicaid is a complex system that can be difficult to navigate. If you or a loved one needs to qualify for Medicaid benefits to help pay for nursing home care, it is critical to contact an experienced Medicaid lawyer. If you are confused about whether you qualify and how to apply for benefits, we can help.
J. L. Williamson Law Group can assist you with Medicaid planning based on your needs, and we’ll also help you navigate the application process so you can receive the health care you need. With our extensive expertise in drafting trusts and other agreements, J. L. Williamson Law Group can help you qualify for long-term care benefits as soon as possible while also protecting your assets from creditors and predators.
Count on J. L. Williamson Law Group for Your Estate Planning Needs
As older Americans occupy an increasing portion of our population, asset protection and long-term care have become a greater concern for them and their families. In fact, the new primary catalyst for estate planning for most households is now long-term care costs, which have become exorbitant and are not covered by Medicaid.
Long-term care insurance
Due to the 60-month lookback period for asset transfers, many seniors desire to plan ahead for long-term care as part of their estate planning. If one is healthy enough, we strongly encourage seniors to purchase long-term care insurance to provide flexibility in their options for future living.
J. L. Williamson Law Group, LLC can assist clients with implementing plans to protect their assets in case of future need for assisted living or nursing home care. Done early enough, this pre-planning can save almost all of a client’s assets.
Ready to get started? Fill out our Long-Term Planning Care Questionnaire.
- A carefully drafted irrevocable trust can add significant tax and nontax benefits to your overall estate plan, and protect your assets and accumulated wealth from being devoured by the high costs of long-term care. Every client and situation is different, but these trusts are often a great tool to properly structure your estate plan to account for impending long-term care needs.
- Personal Care Contracts (sometimes called “Caregiver Agreements”) are viable planning options for certain individuals as part of an overall long-term care plan. By using a personal care contract, an individual is able to spend down his or her resources to qualify for Medicaid.
- Personal care contracts allow an individual to hire his or her family or friends to provide daily caregiving series at prevailing market rates that would be paid to third-parties for these types of services. These services include house cleaning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and prescription medication management.
- The rates paid to the friend or family member must be comparable to current market rates for the services outlined in the agreements. As long as there is a properly drafted contract, those payments are considered fully compensated transfers for Medicaid eligibility purposes and should not result in the imposition of any gift penalties.
- Caregiver agreements are, however, subjected to significant scrutiny by local Medicaid agencies. Because of this scrutiny, you should take certain measures to assure that it will survive scrutiny by the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services. We strongly recommend that the individual qualifying for Medicaid retain a qualified attorney draft his or her personal care contract and that the caregiver keep a detailed log of the time spent providing care.
- Additionally, it is vitally important for the caregiver to track his or her tasks and time immediately with the rendering of services. In doing so, if the Medicaid applicant is ever asked to account for payment of these services, he or she will be able to do so easily. We also recommend consulting with your tax advisor regarding the income tax consequences of the compensation paid pursuant to Personal Care Contract.
- In summary, personal care contracts can be a powerful planning tool, provided that the contract is properly drafted and the caregiver properly documents her time and tasks for the compensation paid to him or her.
Durable Power of Attorney
It is also critical that pre-planning includes the proper legal documents regarding who will make decisions for a person when that person is unable to make decisions for himself or herself. Having a Power of Attorney (POA) drawn up by an attorney allows someone to act on your behalf to make important decisions
Crisis planning typically occurs when a senior has received an extremely serious medical diagnosis, most commonly when hospital or when rehabilitation facility personnel determine that a senior cannot return home after rehab. At this point, the senior and family are facing extended nursing home time without Medicare coverage, and every month that passes will consume a substantial portion of that senior’s life savings. Through crisis planning, J. L. Williamson Law Group can help a client maximize what can be protected under these drastic, adverse circumstances when the costs of waiting even one more month are very high.
If you need to crisis planning services, get a jump start by filling out the Medicaid Crisis Questionnaire.