We Can Preserve Your Assets!
North Texas Medicaid Planning Lawyer
The myth is that one must spend down all assets to qualify for Medicaid-paid nursing home care. Many people fear that they will lose their home and make big mistakes like selling the house or giving away assets based on this misconception.
At The Livens Law Firm, our goal is to protect 100 percent of assets for married applicants. For individuals or cases in which both spouses are in a nursing home, we can still safeguard most of the estate while preserving Medicaid eligibility. This is true even if a person has already entered a long term care or assisted living facility.
Many clients of our Bedford, Texas, law practice are caregivers or legal guardians needing crisis intervention because their elderly parent has not made appropriate plans and is about to enter a nursing home. We offer quick action and comprehensive, turnkey services Medicaid planning and estate planning, including veterans benefits if applicable.
Call Livens Law at (800) 569-2663 for a free Medicaid planning consultation. We serve clients in Dallas County and Tarrant County, the DFW Metroplex and statewide in Texas.
Preserving Assets and Medicaid Eligibility
The State of Texas exempts some assets, covering Medicaid expenses after a couple spends down to a Protected Resource Amount (PRA). For 2009, this means a couple can keep at least $21,912 but cannot have total assets of more than $109,560 to qualify for nursing home assistance. The home, one vehicle and prepaid burial plans are excluded. A spouse can also earn up to $2,739 a month, after allowance for household expenses and personal needs.
Even after these exceptions, many people are ineligible because assets or income exceed the threshold. Social Security or pensions, for example, often disqualify the spouse who is entering a nursing home. The Livens Law Firm applies a number of approved Medicaid planning strategies to make clients eligible and provide for extra comforts during their last years.
- A Miller trust, also called a qualifying income trust, is a set of instructions applied to the person's checking account. Any income over the monthly cap is diverted to the trust to preserve Medicaid eligibility.
- Gifting of up to $12,000 per year per heir is allowed without triggering gift taxes. This is an important strategy for gradual transfer of wealth to children. However, transfers within a five-year look back period will disqualify or delay the donor's Medicaid eligibility. If the nursing home is years away, we can make sure that gifting complies. If assets have already been transferred, we can minimize the divestment eligibility penalty and retain up to 60 percent of remaining assets plus what Mom or Dad gave away.
Qualified and Successful
Stephen Livens has over 20 years of experience in estate planning, and has practiced in Medicaid planning since 2001. His knowledgeable support staff includes Medicaid consultant Karen Henderson, who was a medical eligibility caseworker for the State of Texas for seven years, and now is a case analyst and advocate for those applying for Medicaid and SSI.
Of 140 Medicaid applications handled by The Livens Law Firm in 2008, not a single one was denied. If the claim is turned down, Mr. Livens can represent clients in Medicaid appeals (which a non-attorney cannot).
Contact us today for crisis Medicaid planning and comprehensive counsel in elder law. We offer a free initial consultation, including after hours or weekends by appointment.