Gaughan & Connealy provides elder law services to clients in Overland Park, in Kansas City, and in surrounding locations. Our firm aims to address all of the major issues that seniors may experience as they age, from retirement spending to incapacity to leaving a legacy. As full-service elder law attorneys, we also provide representation to people of all ages who want to plan for a more secure future.
Among the many areas of law where we provide advice and help to prepare for your golden years is Medicaid planning. Medicaid planning allows you to protect assets and ensure you can get the nursing home care that you need. To learn more about Medicaid planning and about the other elder law services we offer give us a call today. We can provide personalized guidance on your situation and can also answer questions you may have including:
- What do elder law attorneys do?
- Do I need a Medicaid plan as I get older?
- How can an Overland Park or Kansas City elder law attorney help me?
What Do Elder Law Attorneys Do?
Elder law attorneys focus on the legal and financial issues that people are more likely to begin experiencing as they age. Older people have a statistically greater chance of becoming incapacitated as compared with younger people. As a result, elder law attorneys help seniors to use tools like living trusts and powers of attorney to ensure their assets are protected. Older people are also closer to the end of their life expectancy, so it becomes especially important to have a last will and testament as well as other components of an estate plan such as a living will or advanced directive.
Elder law attorneys give advice on these and other issues to clients. When you are getting older, making an appointment with a compassionate lawyer can be the first key step in securing your legacy and making sure you select who will inherit your property or make decisions on your behalf in the event of your illness.
Every person’s situation is different, with varying wealth levels, family situations, and preferences for living environment. Attorneys at Gaughan & Connealy have a long history of understanding and fulfilling the needs of an aging population. Our firm not only helps older people, but also younger people as well, since everyone of all ages could benefit from having a plan to build and protect wealth.
Do I Need a Medicaid Plan as I get Older?
When you begin to get older, there is a greater chance that you will eventually need to go into a nursing home. Unfortunately, nursing homes are extremely costly and are very rarely covered by insurance. Medicaid does pay for nursing home care for people who need skilled medical services, but only for a limited stay in a nursing home and only if the patient is not just in need of custodial care. Most people who go into a nursing home do so because they can no longer do routine activities of daily living and need just the type of custodial care that Medicare does not cover.
Because private insurance and Medicare do not typically cover nursing home costs and because most people cannot afford to pay for a nursing home on their own, Medicaid is a primary payer of nursing home care throughout the United States. The problem is, Medicaid is means-tested and limited to people with few assets. For seniors who likely have acquired property and who have money saved, this can be a problem because they often do not immediately qualify for Medicaid. As a result, seniors end up “spending down” assets, or paying out their life savings on a nursing home. Once the money is gone, Medicaid begins to pay the bills.
Seniors can avoid having to spend down assets and lose their savings if they create a Medicaid plan in advance of the time when they need nursing home care. To protect the maximum value of your assets, you will need to create your Medicaid plan at least five years before you have to go into a nursing home. If you transfer assets less than five years before you need nursing home care, there will be a period of disqualification from Medicaid determined by the value of transferred assets and the cost of nursing care in your area.
How Can a Kansas City or Overland Park Elder Law Attorney Help Me?
Gaughan & Connealy has helped many clients to address the issues of aging, including the issue of getting nursing home care paid for by Medicaid. Give us a call today to learn how we help clients in Kansas City, Overland Park, and surrounding areas in Kansas and Missouri.