It can be challenging to plan for the future with or without a family. As you grow older, you may need long-term care. Some people are wealthy enough to shoulder the burden of these costs themselves, but many more cannot. There are strategies that you can use to shelter your assets or make yourself eligible for Medicaid, but they tend to be quite complicated, and it is important to consult an experienced attorney while making your plans. Shelia McCoy is a Harrison and Panola County Medicaid planning lawyer who can protect your interests.Protecting Your Assets While Qualifying for Health Care Benefits
Medicaid is a program funded by both the federal and state governments. While the federal government sets minimum benefits that Texas' Medicaid program needs to provide to get federal funding, Texas sets many of the rules for eligibility within its borders. In order to receive Medicaid benefits that pay for nursing home care, you must qualify both financially and medically. This is different from Medicare, which does not provide benefits for long-term custodial care.
Nursing care must be medically necessary to receive Medicaid long-term care. You will need to show a medical disorder or disease and a related impairment that limits your ability to recognize problems, changes in condition, and the necessity for prescribed medications or the side effects of them. It must also be of enough seriousness that your needs are greater than routine care provided by someone untrained, and they require a nurse's assessment, supervision, intervention, or planning that would only be available in a facility. Alternatively, you must need medical or nursing care that is ordered by and stays under a doctor's supervision, is dependent on your documented condition, disorder, or impairment, requires the skills of registered or licensed nurses, or is provided directly or under a licensed nurse's supervision in an institution.
Typically, nursing home personnel will make a determination about medical necessity. However, in some cases, certain services can be provided at home by a part-time home health care nurse or in an assisted living facility.
You must also qualify for Medicaid based on your income and assets. Sometimes people have too many assets or too much income to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to fully pay for long-term care. An experienced attorney can help you plan for Medicaid benefits when creating your estate plan. Often, someone will need to create several different documents, including a last will and testament, an irrevocable living trust, a special needs trust, a durable power of attorney for health care, and a durable power of attorney for financial affairs.
In some cases, it may be necessary to put income into a Miller Trust, also called a Qualified Income Trust. This is a trust designed not to shelter your assets but to ensure that you qualify for Medicaid. The trust document is prepared, and then a bank account is set up for the trust. Each month, your income goes into the trust account, and the funds in the account pay the nursing home. You are also entitled to be paid a small Personal Needs Allowance from this account.Family Law
We also handle Texas family law matters, such as divorces, child custody disputes, and child support disputes. There are several grounds for divorce in Texas, including insupportability, cruelty, adultery, three years of living apart, abandonment, institutionalization in a mental hospital for at least three years, and felony convictions.
In Texas, almost all assets acquired during a marriage are presumed community property. When a couple gets divorced, these debts and assets are supposed to be split equitably. In some cases, property distribution can get very complicated because of disputes about what various assets are worth and whether they should be characterized as community property. Child custody and child support can also give rise to heated disputes. An experienced attorney is crucial when dealing with legal matters that have long-term consequences for everyone in the family.Seek Guidance from a Medicaid Planning Lawyer in Harrison or Panola County
Ideally, you should plan for elderly or disabled nursing care and the distribution of your assets long before you need Medicaid. It is wise to consult with an experienced attorney to create a solid plan for the future. Shelia McCoy is a Harrison and Panola County Medicaid planning attorney who can help you create a smart strategy for your particular situation. Call us at (903) 935-1190 or use our online form to set up an appointment. We also represent people who need an elder law lawyer in areas such as Carthage, Beckville, DeBerry, Gary, Tatum, Marshall, Longview, Waskom, Elysian Fields, Harleton, Karnack, Hallsville, and Scottsville.