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Planning Techniques to Help Gain Medicaid Eligibility

For older Americans seeking assistance with the costs of long-term care through Medicaid, income and assets must fit within the established guidelines. One of the most basic of the Medicaid guidelines is that you must spend down your assets before qualifying for state or federal assistance. Strict Medicaid rules are in place to prevent people from getting around the rules. However, numerous strategies are used to circumvent the rules. 5 Common Strategies Used to Qualify for Medicaid Without Spending Down Assets:   Irrevocable Trust: An irrevocable trust allows loves ones to receive the financial benefits of your assets. In the simplest...

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How to Seek Adult Guardianship

Do you have questions about adult guardianship? Are you unsure what it means to seek guardianship or how to start the legal process of naming a guardian? Adult guardianship is a legal procedure in which the court determines that an individual is incapable of making decisions due to a disability or that the individual requires protection. In some cases of adult guardianship, the individual is too confused or forgetful to make decisions about medical treatment or obtain appropriate food and shelter. This situation would be referred to as “disability.” If the court finds someone to be unable to make decisions...

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The Duties of a SNT Trustee

Are you considering taking on the duties and responsibilities of a trustee of a special needs trust? If so, you probably have questions about exactly what those duties and responsibilities are and what it means to be a SNT trustee. While there are many potential duties, these five responsibilities will constitute the majority of what a SNT trustee will need to manage. Duties of a Special Needs Trust Trustee: Make Distributions from the Trust: The trustee is legally required to abide by the terms of the trust when making distributions. Before the SNT trustee can make a distribution, they must...

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The Purpose of the Advance Directive

If you are a young, healthy person, do you need an advance directive? If you are in poor health, do you need an advance directive? If you’ve had open discussions with your loved ones about your preferred health care decisions, do you need an advance directive? The answers are simple, and the answers to all the above questions are the same: YES. Unless you have signed an advance directive to protect yourself if you are ever unable to make your own health care decisions, you are at risk. The advance directive, sometimes referred to as a durable power of attorney for...

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Make Your Own Decisions with an Estate Plan

Do you know what an estate plan is and why you are supposed to have one in place? Do you know the purpose? There is more to an estate plan than simply drafting a will or a trust. It’s more than just ensuring that your assets are transferred seamlessly to your heirs upon your death. The purpose of an estate plan is simple but profound: to allow you to make your own decisions. Don’t waste any more time – put the pieces in place today to keep the decision making power in your own hands: Will/Trust Durable Power of Attorney Beneficiary...

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Elder Law: What to Do When You Need Long Term Care

Many older Americans are familiar with Medicare, the federal health insurance program for those 65 and older that pays doctor and hospital bills, but Medicare doesn’t cover everything. For instance, Medicare does not cover long term custodial care for help many older Americans need with the necessary activities of day-to-day life: bathing, dressing, and eating. As many older people eventually need this type of care due to either physical or mental impairment, they (or their family) has to find a way to cover the potentially expensive costs. In some cases, covering the costs of this type of long-term elder care...

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The Two Types of Special Needs Trust

Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) fall into one of two categories: first-party SNTs and third-party SNTs. The first step in creating a special needs trust is determining which type you need, which will depend on whose property funds the trust. If the property funding the trust originates with the beneficiary of the SNT, it is a first-party SNT. If the property funding the trust belongs to someone other than the beneficiary, it is a third-party SNT. The Third-Party Special Needs Trust: Commonly used by individuals planning in advance for a loved one with special needs, parents of special needs or disabled individuals...

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Qualified Income Trusts: Qualifying for Medicaid Benefits with a High Income

Eligible applicants for Medicaid’s long term care benefits must have income and assets that fall under the allowable limits. Individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid due to income higher than the permissible limits of the Medicaid process who don’t have enough income to pay for long term care should consider a Qualified Income Trust (QIT). Using Qualified Income Trusts (QITs), excess income is directly deposited monthly into a restricted funds account. The money in the restricted funds account is limited to use for one specific reason. Restricted funds accounts associated with QITs are reserved explicitly for paying nursing home bills...

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5 Key Elements of the Estate Plan

A well drafted estate plan will cover five main elements: will, trust, power of attorney, beneficiary designation, and health care or medical directive. Will: A will is a legally binding document that specifies who is to receive property and assets after your death. The will names the executor of the estate who will be responsible for carrying out the directions. The document will also appoint a guardian to care for any minor children or dependents if necessary. Trust: When creating a trust, a trustee is designated and legally give the power to hold title to the property on behalf of the trust's...

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The Pros and Cons of Medicaid Planning

An experienced Florida Medicaid planning attorney helps their clients structure their assets and financial resources and prepare documentation to create a scenario in which they are most likely to be accepted into the Medicaid program. Medicaid planning attorneys use a variety of tools and strategies, including trusts, asset transfers, converting countable assets into exempt assets to improve eligibility while preserving resources. In some cases, Medicaid planners also protect their client’s family home from Medicaid recovery and manage to manipulate finances to ensure that a healthy spouse has an appropriate income to continue to live independently while their partner is receiving...

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