Mar
01
2018
0

Items Generally Exempted for Medi-Cal Qualification

If you apply for Medi-Cal, the following list includes items that are generally exempted for qualification.

  • Your home is exempted if it is your principal residence. When applying for Medi-Cal, you will confirm on the application that you intend to return home after your stay in a skilled nursing facility. Medi-Cal requires a “subjective intent in writing to return home” to establish the home as an exempt asset. We have our clients execute an “intent to return home” form when we prepare their asset protection estate plans.
  • IRAs, 401k’s and other “qualified accounts” are exempt. The applicant however must be taking RMD’s or some amount of principal and interest on a periodic basis.
  • Not more than $2,000 in cash in the applicant’s name, which could include savings and checking accounts.
  • One care is exempt. If a couple owns two cars, we request an exemption for the more expensive car.
  • Term life insurance is exempt, but whole life insurance cannot have more than $1500 cash value.
  • Burial plots are exempt, and prepaid irrevocable burial plans are exempt.
  • Qualified or work related annuities are generally exempt. Other annuities may be exempt according to the Medi-Cal regulations.
  • Household furnishings are exempt.

This list is not exhaustive, and this information is not to be taken as legal advice. You are encouraged to see your elder law and probate attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com, we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, probate avoidance, wills, trusts, powers of attorney and probates. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

Michael J. Young

Walnut Creek Elder Law

Elder Law, Asset Protection,

Medi-Cal and Probate Attorney

1931 San Miguel Dr. Ste., 220

Walnut Creek, CA 94596

925-256-0298

Jan
30
2017
0

Do not Listen To Your Neighbors Regarding Medi-Cal Eligibility

Do not listen to your neighbors regarding Medi-Cal eligibility! Over the last number of days, we have been told by several individuals who are interested in our services, that their understanding is that they would never qualify for Medi-Cal based upon “advice” they received from their neighbors. In each case, the advice was wrong.

One person told me that she was told that her husband would not qualify for Medi-Cal because his IRAs were too high. I told her that her husband can have any amount of IRAs and still qualify for Medi-Cal. In fact, I told her that she, as the well spouse, can also have any amount of IRAs, and her husband could still qualify for Medi-Cal.  In addition, I told her that both her and her husband’s IRAs cannot be collected against by the State for Medi-Cal recoupment.

In another case, an individual told me that she was informed that she could not qualify for Medi-Cal because she owned her own home. This information is also incorrect. All she has to do is express a subjective intent in writing that she intends to return home, even if she is in a nursing home. We prepare that documentation for our clients as part of their estate plan. This intent to return home is also confirmed on the Medi-Cal application. In addition, I told her that as of January 1, 2017, her home cannot be collected against by the State for Medi-Cal recoupment, if her home is in her revocable living trust at the time of her death.

In another case, a person told me that he understood that he could not qualify for Medi-Cal because his and his wife’s income was too high. This advice is also erroneous because of the Medi-Cal rules regarding Share of Cost. The state pays qualified nursing homes $8,189 a month for a Medi-Cal recipient, minus a share of cost from the recipient. The $8,189 is usually much lower than a nursing home would be if you were to private pay. The recipient’s income goes to a share of cost to the nursing home, up to $8,189, minus a few small deductions from the recipient’s income. If the recipient is married, the well spouse can keep all of her income, without penalty. If the well spouse makes under $2,981 per month, the ill spouse’s income is allocated to the well spouse’s income to bring her up to $2,981 per month. As a result, many of our clients end up paying a very small share of cost, and sometimes nothing, to the nursing home.

The moral of the story is, do not listen to your neighbors regarding Medi-Cal eligibility.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com, we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help the older client and their families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

Sep
28
2016
0

Consider A Joint Checking Account With Your Parents

Many older people insist on handling their own financial affairs without assistance, for as long as as possible. This is admirable, but what if something bad happens to the older person, like a medical event which lands the older person in the hospital, and ready access to cash is needed? And, what if the older person begins to lose capacity and starts to make bad decisions with their money?

For access to immediate cash, a child or other loved one should be a joint owner on a checking account with the older person. If the older person is hospitalized and indisposed for a period of time, the child will be able to take care of finances, and pay bills for their parent. If the older person starts to make bad financial decisions, or is the subject of fraud, the child could shut the account down.

The bank and financial accounts, except for IRAs, should be transferred to the revocable living trust of the older person, with a child or other person named as successor trustee. These transfers to the revocable living trust are completed through the bank or financial institution, and these trust assets are reflected on the schedules of assets attached to the revocable living trust. The trust is set up so that if the older person loses capacity, a doctor’s note is obtained, and the child can act as the new trustee to control the assets for the benefit of the parent.

But what if the parent refuses to cooperate and do any of these things? You should try to maintain a dialogue of communication with the parent, and try to stay informed about what is happening with his daily life. If the parent becomes unusually defensive when asked about his finances, this should be a red flag. At this point, a geriatric social worker may be able to help you communicate with your parent. If the estate plan and finances aren’t properly set up, and the parent loses mental capacity, a court conservatorship may be required for you to be able to gain control of the accounts. The earlier the estate plan and joint checking account is set up, the easier it will be for all concerned.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

Written by mike in: Aid & Attendance Brentwood,Alzheimer's Care,Alzheimer's Medi-Cal,Asset Protection Attorney Walnut Creek,Baby Boomer Estate Planning,Baby Boomer Estate Planning,Brentwood Attorney Senior,Brentwood CA Asset Protection Attorney,Brentwood Elder Law,Brentwood Elder Law Atorney,Brentwood Elder Law Attorney,Brentwood Nursing Home Attorney,Brentwood Senior Law Attorney,Contra Costa Nursing Home Attorney,Elder Law Attorney Walnut Creek,Estate Planning for Baby Boomers,Hospice Care Walnut Creek,Medi-Cal Attorney Pleasant Hill CA,Medi-Cal Attorney Walnut Creek,Medi-Cal Attorney Walnut Creek CA,Medi-Cal Gifting Walnut Creek,Medi-Cal Planning & Qualification,Nursing Home Attorney Brentwood,Nursing Home Attorney Walnut Creek,Parkinson's disease Walnut Creek,Pay Nursing Home Care Walnut Creek,Pay for Cost of Long Term Care Walnut Creek,Pleasant Hill Elder Law Attorney,Pleasant Hill Senior Law Attorney,Probate Attorney Contra Costa County,Senior Law Attorney Walnut Creek,Special Needs Trusts,Sustainable Estate Planning Walnut Creek CA,Walnut Creek Elder Law,Walnut Creek Medi-Cal Qualification,elder law attorney Pleasant Hill,senior law walnut creek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Mar
15
2016
0

Medi-Cal and Life Insurance Recovery

If you die after having been on Medi-Cal, the state can only recover what is left in your estate at the time of your death. Whatever is in your revocable living trust when you die, is recoverable by Medi-Cal because that is part of your estate. That is why we reserve powers in the revocable living trust and financial powers of attorney to transfer assets out of your trust during your life in order to avoid state recovery.

If you have life insurance and you die, your beneficiary, such as your spouse or a child, will receive the death benefit. This death benefit to your spouse or child is not recoverable by Medi-Cal. However, if you name your revocable living trust as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, the death benefit will be funded into your revocable living trust when you die. This death benefit will be “in your estate” when you die, and therefore recoverable by Medi-Cal. As a result, if you think you may be applying for Medi-Cal at some date in the future, you should name a person or persons to be the beneficiary of your life insurance policy.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

Oct
22
2015
0

Alzheimer’s Disease – The 10 Warning Signs

Every 70 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association has a list of the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, as follows:

  • Memory changes that disrupt daily life.
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
  • Confusion with time or place.
  • Trouble understanding visual and spatial relationships .
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing.
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
  • Decrease in judgment or poor judgment .
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities.
  • Changes in mood and personality.

If you notice these signs in your loved one, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends that you consul a physician. An early diagnosis will provide better opportunities for treatment. In addition, estate planning, asset protection and financial planning opportunities through your elder law attorney are more available to the older client before dementia and memory loss becomes severe.

The modern developments in estate planning for the older client involve asset protection, and a plan to determine how an increased need for care will be paid for over time.

For additional information please feel free to contact our office. This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

May
11
2015
0

Medi-Cal, Capital Gains and the Home

In previous blogs, we have discussed how we can establish the home as an “exempt asset” for qualification for Medi-Cal. Your elder law attorney can help you take the steps necessary to exempt your home and help you qualify for Medi-Cal. However, if your home is in your estate when you pass away after having been on Medi-Cal, the state can pursue a recovery lien against your home. The state will want to recoup the funds they have paid to the nursing home on your behalf.

Keep in mind however that the state cannot pursue a recovery lien against your home if your home is not in your estate when you die. The remedy for this may be for you to transfer your home to a child or other family member after you have established the home as an exempt asset for qualification for Medi-Cal. But beware, there could be a tax problem. If you make such a transfer to a child, the child will assume your tax basis on the property. This means that if the child then sells the property, he or she may have to pay capital gains tax on the sale. This tax is basically calculated on the difference between the purchase price you the parent paid for the property, and the sale price the child obtained. The child would not be able to take advantage of the $250,000 capital gains tax exclusion on the sale that the parent had under Federal Tax Code Section 121.

To remedy this problem, the property could be transferred to a child with a reserved life estate in favor of the parent. The deed for this transfer from the parent to the child would create a split interest on the record, wherein the parent retains a life estate in the property, and the child is the grantee of the remainder interest in the property. After the parent dies, the child should receive a full step up in basis on the property under IRS regulations. The child could then sell the property at the time of the parent’s death, without incurring capital gains. The home would not be available for Medi-Cal recoupment after the home is transferred to the child with the reserved life estate in favor of the parent. This procedure is recognized by Medi-Cal provided that the prescribed procedure is used, and the correct language is utilized in the deed. There are of course other issues you will need to consider regarding the transfer of the home. Your elder law attorney can help you through this process if it is appropriate for your situation.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your Walnut Creek Elder Law Attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

Mar
06
2015
0

Will Medi-Cal Take My Home?

We often receive calls in our office from people asking, “Is Medi-Cal going to take my home?” The answer to this question should be NO through proper long term care planning with your elder law attorney. To understand the issues involved, we must first look at the Medi-Cal regulations. In addition we must confirm that you have the required asset protection and government benefits planning language you will need in your revocable living trust and financial durable power of attorney. This language is required for protection of your home and other assets from a Medi-Cal lien if you lose mental capacity. We have discussed in previous blogs how the language in estate planning documents is different for the older client.

Under the Medi-Cal regulations, your home can generally be confirmed as an “exempt asset” when qualifying for Medi-Cal. The Medi-Cal applicant, or their representative, must confirm “an intent to return home” on the Medi-Cal application. Our clients also confirm “an intent to return home” in their long term care plan prepared by our office. Your home is also exempt for qualifying for Medi-Cal if a spouse, minor, blind or disabled child lives in the home. There are also other ways to confirm the home as an exempt asset.

So, you can generally qualify for Medi-Cal and keep your home. But the next issue concerns what happens if you die after you have been on Medi-Cal? After you die, Medi-Cal will want to  recoup from your estate the money they have paid to the nursing home on your behalf. They will follow a lien on your property until you die, and then pursue to collect from the equity in your home. If you have a surviving house in the home after you die however, the state will not pursue collection against the home until your spouse dies.

You should keep in mind that the state can only collect against assets, like your home, that are in your estate when you die. They will also collect against your interest in the home when your spouse dies. So, what would happen if you transfer the home out of your estate before you die? Once the home is confirmed as an exempt asset, you can transfer your title interest in the home to your spouse or to another family member, for instance. There is no transfer penalty for transfer to a spouse. There is also no transfer penalty to another family member after the home is confirmed as an exempt asset. Your elder law attorney will help you regarding this planning AND any real property transfer. He will also advise you on how to avoid capital gains tax on the transfer and ultimate sale of the home, and how to avoid a re-assessment by the county tax assessor upon transfer of the home. If you transfer your interest in your home to your spouse before you die, the state will not be able to recover against the home. If you transfer your interest in the home to another family member, the state will not be able to recover against the home when you die. You will require the services of an elder law attorney for this planning and to make these transfers.

If you have lost mental capacity, can you transfer your title interest in the home to your spouse or other family members? If you do not have a long term care plan prepared by an elder law attorney with the required language in your revocable living trust and financial durable power of attorney, the answer is probably NO. The majority of estate plans do not include the appropriate asset protection language in the trust and financial durable powers of attorney that are required to make this transfer upon incapacity. It is possible to go to court and obtain an order reforming your trust and financial durable power of attorney to make the transfer, but this process is time consuming and fairly expensive.

Your elder law attorney will help you to increase the quality of your life, and not just figure out who-gets-what after you pass away. For additional information, you can contact your elder law attorney Michael J. Young. This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney. At the law offices of Michael J. Young, 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA http://www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com, 925-256-0298,lawyoung1@gmail.com, we practice elder law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with Sustainable Estate Planning TM, long term care planning, asset protection plans, special needs trusts, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order to help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension Benefit.

Feb
17
2015
0

Estate Plans For The Older Client Are Different

The plain vanilla estate plan, which most people have, is designed for the younger client. The main purposes of this estate plan are to avoid probate court and to provide for the distribution of assets to heirs upon death. It will also minimize estate taxes.

Estate plans for the older client include all of the death planning as stated above. But they also include long term care and disability planning, and are designed for asset protection.  Your elder law attorney will help you plan ahead in the event you or your spouse face long term care needs during your lives. We have seen some families spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for their care. Skilled nursing care can be as much as $10K or $15K per month. These issues must be addressed.

The elder law attorney helps clients and their families plan for and qualify for Medi-Cal. This state program helps pay for a stay in a skilled nursing facility in the event you use all of your Medicare days.  Through proper Medi-Cal planning, it is possible to qualify for Medi-Cal and transfer your home to your loved ones without a state lien, and without a step-up in basis. You can also plan to preserve your monetary assets under the Medi-Cal regulations. Your elder law attorney can also help you plan for and qualify for the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit, which can help pay for your in home care and assisted living facility costs.

In addition, for the older client, you can review how you may be able to make a tax advantaged transfer of a portion of your savings or other assets into a financial instrument that has a long term care benefit rider. Unlike traditional long term care insurance, if you don’t use this long term care benefit rider, you still have a financial benefit to transfer to your loved ones upon death.

If you have an estate plan that is created for the younger client, please feel free to contact Elder Law Attorney Michael J. Young for further discussion.

This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Young, at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA www.WalnutCreekElderLaw, 925-256-0298, lawyoung1@gmail.com we practice Elder Law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension benefit.

Jan
12
2015
0

2015 CA Medi-Cal Quick Reference Guide

The State of California has changed some of the Medi-Cal qualification figures and requirements for 2015. A brief listing of these changes and requirements is set forth below:

Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA)

$119,220

This is the amount that the community, or (at home) well spouse can retain in liquid assets. This amount does not include exempt assets, such as the home and qualified accounts, such as IRA’s.

Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA)

$2,981

This is the minimum amount of income the well spouse can keep.

Average Private Pay Rate – Divestment Penalty Divisor – (APPR)

$7,628

This is the amount the State pays to nursing homes on the Medi-Cal program, minus a share of cost by the applicant. This figure is also used to calculate penalty periods of ineligibility for Medi-Cal.

Applicant Resource Allowance

$2,000

The applicant can keep this amount in cash, checking, etc.

Monthly Personal Needs Allowance

$35

The amount of income the ill person is allowed to keep.


Jan
02
2015
0

Treatment of The Home With Reverse Mortgages By Medi-Cal

Under the Medi-Cal regulations, it is fairly easy for us to establish the home as an “exempt asset” for qualification for Medi-Cal. The usual way is to confirm “an intent to return home” by the Medi-Cal applicant. The next task is to protect the home from a Medi-Cal lien if you pass away after having been on Medi-Cal. If you die after having been on Medi-Cal, and you are still on title to the home, Medi-Cal can put a lien on your home to recover the payments they have made to the nursing home. If you are not on title to the home when you die, Medi-Cal cannot pursue recoupment against your home. After we confirm the home as an “exempt asset”, we can transfer the home to another person without penalty under the Medi-Cal regulations. You can always transfer the home to your spouse without penalty. The goal is to keep the home as a legacy in your estate without it going to the state.

If you have a reverse mortgage on your home, it may become difficult for you to transfer title of the home to another person without triggering the due on transfer clause under the mortgage. This means that the loan could be due and payable upon the transfer. Also, if you go into a nursing home for an extended period of time, the reverse mortgage can become due and payable, and the home could be sold under the terms of the reverse mortgage. Any proceeds from the sale that you realize may make you ineligible for Medi-Cal benefits.

A reverse mortgage on your home is sometimes a good option for the older person. However, please keep in mind that it may not be such a good option if you could go into a nursing home in the foreseeable future. You should seek the advice of your elder law attorney for a full discussion of protecting the home, before committing to a reverse mortgage.

For additional information, you can contact your elder law attorney Michael J. Young. This information is not to be taken as legal advice, and you are encouraged to see your elder law attorney. At the law offices of Michael J. Young, 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA http://www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com, 925-256-0298,lawyoung1@gmail.com, we practice elder law and we help Baby Boomers, Seniors and families through their Elder Care Journey. We help families with Sustainable Estate Planning TM, long term care planning, asset protection plans, special needs trusts, comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts and powers of attorney. We also help Baby Boomers and families get their “Ducks in a Row” in order to help them qualify for Medi-Cal and the VA Aid & Attendance Improved Pension Benefit.

Powered by WordPress | Theme: Aeros 2.0 by TheBuckmaker.com