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Elder Law

It’s no secret that Americans are living longer. 

The legal landscape is changing for everyone because of this.

Government and private services are adapting to the needs of this growing population, with varying levels of success.

Whether you need these services or you are a caretaker for a loved one, it is important to know what to expect.

This is one area where planning ahead can mean the difference between living comfortably and having a minimal government-provided ‘allowance’ for the rest of your life.

Medicaid Planning

There is an ongoing debate about the ethics of planning to qualify for Medicaid, the government program that finances the living and medical care of adults who do not have sufficient income or assets to pay on their own.

Federal law allows people to transfer their assets and qualify for Medicaid after a waiting period.  Many people believe that it is unethical to help people comply with this law.

My view, however, analogizes Medicaid planning to tax planning.  In both cases, the law allows certain benefits so long as the planning is done properly; in other words, the law says that if you jump through certain hoops, your tax burden or your Medicaid burden can be lower—meaning you can keep more of your own money for yourself or your family.

You certainly may pay more than you owe in taxes, but I do not believe that it is unethical for you to pay what the law requires.  Medicaid planning is the same.

As with tax law, however, Medicaid planning can be extremely complicated.  Make sure you only do so with the advice of a competent attorney.

 

 

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