A common planning mistake is to leave assets by will, intestacy or beneficiary to designation to a person already qualified for Medicaid. Relatives of Medicaid recipients or potential recipients should review their wills to prevent the Medicaid recipient from receiving assets which would disqualify them for Medicaid benefits. For example, if your spouse is or may receive Medicaid benefits, assets he or she inherits from you or from others will likely cause disqualification from Medicaid. In addition, the Medicaid recipient should not be the beneficiary of any asset (such as IRAs, life insurance, qualified retirement plans or annuities). Therefore, if your spouse is receiving Medicaid long-term care benefits, you should consider leaving your assets to a properly drafted trust for the benefit of your spouse. Otherwise, your assets must be left to a relative other than your spouse residing in a nursing home (e.g. your children) to avoid disqualifying your spouse from Medicaid. Unfortunately, the relative is under no legal obligation to use these assets for your spouse’s care; therefore, a trust provides more control.
Related persons also should take caution not to die intestate, leaving the Medicaid recipient or potential recipient as an intestate heir. Relatives should draft a will leaving these assets to a trust or the Medicaid recipient’s spouse, children or grandchildren.
Metairie Medicaid and Elder Law Attorney, John Sirois has the experience and the expertise to help avoid the financial ruin associated with the high cost of long-term care. Click here to download John’s Long-Term Care and Medicaid Planning Checklist. Read John’s book, Louisiana Retirement and Estate Planning, for more information about long-term care and Louisiana Medicaid planning.
Contact us today to start the process of understanding the issues surrounding Medicaid eligibility and to implement the planning and application process. There can be strict time limits for taking legal action in such cases, so do not hesitate to call us at 985-560-2520 for a consultation.