Keep Your Home While Getting The Care You Need

There’s a general misunderstanding surrounding the difference between estate planning and elder law. It is essential to define the two because this blog centers around a common elder law concern of keeping your house while also paying the high costs associated with long-term care. In a straightforward way, estate planning answers the question of what happens to you and your assets if you are incapacitated or pass away. On the other end of the spectrum, elder law assists people with maintaining their quality of life as they age. 


For instance, what happens when you discover you need to transition into a long-term care facility that costs upward of $8000 a month? Do you sell your house to pay for it? Additionally, your family and friends are concerned that you won’t qualify for Medicaid because you have too many assets. This is a common position to be in, and providing you with a solution is something that elder law attorneys do for their clients. 


Keeping Assets vs. Paying For Long-Term Care

If you take away nothing else, remember this: You can have both. One of the unique advantages of living in Florida is using this state’s Medicaid laws. Regardless of how many assets you own, you should still contact an elder law attorney to learn how to qualify for Medicaid. Although we would love to walk you through how this works, it will depend on the client and their situation. Medicaid is a broad term that pertains to multiple programs such as the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC). This includes three other programs:


  • Managed Medical Assistance (MMA)
  • Program, Long-term Care (LTC)
  • Dental Program 


Allow an elder law attorney to craft a solution after they learn more about you, your financial situation, and your medical needs. Your attorney will focus on keeping your assets (especially if you want to pass them to your beneficiaries) and help you become eligible for Medicaid through various legal methods. 


The Value of Having Legal Counsel

We highly recommend reaching out to legal counsel to ensure you don’t do something that makes you ineligible for Medicaid. One of the most common and misguided ways to qualify is to give away your assets by selling them for less than they are worth. For example, selling your (new) car to your grandchild for $100. That will surface during a Medicaid 5-year lookback period, which could then prevent you from being eligible. 

Lastly, even though there are ways for people to become eligible for Medicaid, there is such a thing as having too many assets. Your attorney can look at your income sources, including your Social Security and retirement funds, to determine whether you are over the income cap. If you are over the cap, there are several legal ways to move that money so that you are below it. Contact Luis E. Barreto & Associates to schedule your free initial consultation today.

Luis E. Barreto