Medicaid Long-Term Care Planning

Top 10 Mistakes Made in Medicaid Long-Term Care Planning

Medicaid Long-Term Care Planning in Virginia is a critical step for your future. There is no better time than the present to begin thinking about what is involved and how you should start. Geneva Perry is a seasoned Long-Term Care Planning Attorney at Promise Law in Newport News, Virginia, and she offers a virtual workshop to help you get started with Medicaid Long-Term Care planning. She leverages her over 13 years of experience to help you avoid common pitfalls and make the best choices.

Below, we share the top 10 mistakes too many seniors make in Medicaid Long-Term Care planning so you can avoid them. After reviewing these mistakes, partnering with Promise Law can help you plan wisely for your future in Virginia.

Mistake #1: Not Planning Early Enough

If you are thinking, “I’m not old enough to worry about Medicaid Long-Term Care planning yet,” you are likely mistaken. Medicaid has certain requirements that must be met in order to qualify, and some of them have time factors involved. Starting your Medicaid Long-Term Care planning early allows you to take advantage of some choice options that can help you protect assets while still qualifying for Medicaid benefits.

Mistake #2: Ignoring Important Documents

This is a common failing of those who choose to tackle their Medicaid Long-Term Care planning alone. They become easily confused by the process and overwhelmed by the level of detail required. And, even if you discover all the correct documents you need, a simple mistake in filling it out can cause serious delays or a denial of benefits.

Mistake #3: Applying for Medicaid Long-Term Care Too Early

Another common failing of many seniors who tackle the application process alone is applying too early. Believe it or not, when you file your Medicaid Long-Term Care application is critical. If you have too many assets that have not been protected appropriately, you could be denied benefits.

Mistake #4: Applying for Medicaid Long-Term Care Too Late

Conversely, applying for Medicaid Long-Term Care too late can also cause problems. You could need the benefits much sooner than they begin after the long application process, causing you to spend some of your own savings that could be needed by your spouse later. Plus, waiting too long may leave you with less options for care placement and/or to take advantage of some strategies that preserve your assets for your spouse or other family.

Mistake #5: Selling Your Home

Some jump the gun and quickly sell their home to meet Medicaid asset eligibility limits – this is a huge mistake. Your primary home is automatically exempt from Medicaid asset calculations if you live in it when you file, plan to return to it, or if your spouse lives in it. If you sell it, it becomes cash, which is definitely counted in your assets. Plus, by working on this before the long-term care need arises, your Medicaid Long-Term Care Attorney from Promise Law can help you protect your home with asset protection strategies that can also shield it from Medicaid’s Estate Recovery Program.

Mistake #6: Giving Away Assets Without a Plan

Giving away assets too quickly (like selling your home above) can be a serious mistake – you may need those assets in the future. Plus, precipitous transfers can cause you tax difficulties and could violate the Medicaid look-back period, delaying your benefits even further. Always consult a Medicaid Long-Term Care Planning Attorney before transferring any assets.

Mistake #7: Ignoring Laws that Benefit You

The United States Congress has enacted certain laws that exempt specific types of asset transfers from consideration in Medicaid eligibility. These can include transfers to certain trusts, disabled children, and other options. An attorney can explain more and help you take advantage of these so-called “safe harbors” for some of your assets.

Mistake #8: Ignoring Allowable Spend-Down Provisions

These rules allow you to use some of your assets to pay off debts, make needed improvements to your home, pre-purchase funeral plans, and even replace an older primary vehicle for the benefit of a spouse who will remain at home while you enter a long-term care facility. This is especially important, as it allows you to make better provisions for the at-home spouse’s living conditions.

Mistake #9: Ignoring Medicaid Estate Recovery Rules

While your primary home may be exempted from asset calculations, it may still be subject to Medicaid Asset Recovery after the death of a Medicaid recipient. Your Medicaid Long-Term Care Planning Attorney can explain more, and help you prepare for this eventuality.

Mistake #10: Not Getting the Professional Help You Need

The worse possible mistake you can make is to attempt to handle your Medicaid Long-Term Care planning alone, without the seasoned advice of a legal professional. At Promise Law, we can help you through every step of your Long-Term Care planning to ensure your assets are protected and your future is secure. Contact us today to learn more.



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