R I V E R S I D E E L D E R L A W A N D E S T A T E P L A N N I N G L A W F I R M
Please note: The more detailed explanation of what is involved in protecting the home from a Medi-cal claim covers about 30 pages double spaced. It’s too much to display here, but you can download it by going to Articles.
Please keep in mind that it’s thirty pages of wading through a myriad of Federal and State Law, some of it published, and some unpublished. You can take it to your lawyer or to your CPA for their scrutiny, but please, don’t try to do it yourself. We aren’t giving legal advice. We’re trying to help you educate yourself.
If you are seeking to protect your home, please consult with an experienced Elder Law attorney; US, or somebody who does what we can do. Please don’t try to do this with some non-lawyer document preparation service, or other para-professional. It isn’t worth the risk.
We offer a free one-half hour consultation. Neither a good lawyer, nor his staff, can learn how to competently provide this service overnight. You can only learn so much from reading a book.
We’ve prepared a few thousand trusts. We’ve done a few thousand bankruptcies. We’ve done dozens of conservatorships and probates. Experience is the most important factor. Our number one paralegal here has been doing this for over 23 years. Our number 2 paralegal has been doing this for over 10 years.
In any trade or profession, the practitioners must continually “sharpen the saw”. We attend training seminars and participate in on-line courses throughout the year, every year. We hold regular training sessions in-house. That’s staff and attorneys.
Medi-Cal and Medi-Care – this need arises at the time that a loved one can no longer care for themselves – usually their last days (which could stretch out to be their last years) Here’s the objectives:
To obtain qualification for Medi-Cal Benefits for the patient, so that the family doesn’t have to private pay – usually $5,000-$6,000.00 per month
To minimize the “share of cost” that must be paid from the patient’s income to the skilled nursing home
To maximize the income of the well spouse in situations where a married person (ill spouse) must enter a skilled nursing facility and qualify for Medi-Cal Benefits.
To protect the assets of the patient, principally the home, from a Medi-Cal Claim by the State of California after the death of the surviving spouse – This is probably the most important service that the Elder Law attorney provides.
NOTE:In order to provide the above services, it is often necessary for the Elder Law attorney to engage in the repositioning of assets, sometimes by court proceeding, and, at other times, by non-court procedures. Such repositioning is a means to an end, but not an end in itself. One further note: Persons receiving Medi-cal benefits must co-operate and provide information to the Department of Social Services for an annual “re-determination” each year. The Elder Law attorney can provide this service. Last, but not least, occasionally the Elder Law Attorney must appeal an adverse Medi-cal ruling. The Elder Law practitioner can bring this appeal either through the administrative law process or through the regular superior courts. Please be aware that Capital Gains Taxes impact the effort to protect the home from a Medi-cal claim for recovery after the patient or the surviving spouse passes away. A major part of the Medi-cal practitioners’ work is to move the home beyond the reach of a Medi-cal recovery claim, while at the same time, preserving the exemptions and exclusions from Capital Gains Taxation, that the patient is entitled to, while passing these benefits on down to the beneficiaries of the deceased patient. This is sophisticated work that should only be performed by a skilled Medi-cal Elder Law attorney.
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