Is there any way to protect my 91-year old Mother's assets or a portion of them once she has been admitted to a Long-term care facility? I have heard of the half-a-loaf strategy but not sure if it is usable in New Hampshire.
It sounds like her admittance to a nursing home is immanent. There is a five year look-back period for eligibity for some benefits. In other words if she transfers assets now, they may still be counted in terms of determining her eligibility. This is an area where you should consult a knowledgeable elder-law attorney.
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Your mother may be able to gift some money but it must be carefully planned. Any amount given away in the last 5 years creates a penalty period during which Medicaid will not pay for care. This penalty period begins AFTER the individual has qualified for Medicaid, which means that he or she only has $2,000 or less in assets other than exempt ones such as a house or vehicle. Arrangements can be made to give a certain amount away and use the rest to purchase an annuity, which combined with her income, will pay for her care. The calculations and arranging for such an annuity usually require the services of an experienced elder law attorney. Make sure that any attorney you engage does this kind of Medicaid planning regularly since the rules change.
This is general information and is not intended as legal advice. No attorney - client relationship has been established. Geraldine Brown is licensed in Michigan where she practices estate planning and elder law.
You definitely need to contact a New Hampshire attorney. Medicaid issues are primarily state issues, and answers to your question can vary state-to-state. There are some things to consider with the attorney: a) depositing money into a pooled trust; b) purchasing a "pre-need" funeral policy; c) purchasing a "Medicaid-qualified" annuity. There are some other options that may apply, depending upon your particular circumstances.
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. Do NOT rely on anything I have written here -- You should contact a lawyer in your area immediately after reading my posting.
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