Elder law is an area of legal practice covering Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, arrangements for elder care, Social Security and retirement benefits. As our society in general becomes older due to the populations longevity, this area of practice has become more important. (Consultations regarding Elder Law/Medicaid Planning include discussions concerning long term care planning, Medicaid, medical directives, Medicare, nursing home issues and Social Security.) A major planning component of Elder Law is addressing how one’s long term care will ultimately be paid for. Medicaid, a Federally sponsored program administered through the State, will pay for skilled nursing home care for a qualified recipient. Qualifying for Medicaid involves reviewing the income and assets of the party who is receiving care in a skilled nursing home and the assets and income that will remain available to the spouse who is not receiving care. In Medicaid terms, these parties are referred to as the “institutionalized” and “community spouse.” A primary objective of Medicaid planning is to plan the transfer assets to the community spouse and family and still have the institutionalized spouse qualify for Medicaid. This type of planning includes lifetime gifts, the use of Irrevocable Trusts and maximizing the use of allowable expenses by the institutionalized and community spouse prior to the institutionalized spouse entering a skilled nursing home facility. The plan needs to ensure that the community spouse is receiving the maximum income permissible by law, as well as retaining the maximum number of assets available to them under the Medicaid law.

PRACTICE AREA ATTORNEYS

Timothy C. Leventry
Randall C. Rodkey
Andrew J. Schellhammer

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