One of our primary goals as elder law attorneys is to help our clients preserve their money and their assets.
We help them take steps to control what will happen to their assets. We can help restructure assets in order to secure Medicaid or other Government benefits to pay for long term care.
Asset Preservation when Government Benefits are Needed
When you find that you may need government assistance, such as Medicaid, to pay for long term care or other medical necessities, how can you meet the eligibility requirements of the government assistance program without becoming impoverished?
This is a question explored in great detail at Deeb Elder Law. We tailor the answer to this question to the individual needs of each client, taking many factors into consideration.
Several Florida Asset Preservation methods are available; each has pros and cons and will be measured against your specific family situation. An attorney from Deeb Elder Law will meet with you to help you find the best solutions for preserving your family’s assets, while permitting the individual in need of assistance to qualify for government benefits.
New Gifting and Transfer Rules in Medicaid Planning
The Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 was signed into law on February 8, 2006. The law was implemented in Florida by rule, effective November 1, 2007. The new law provides that ANY gifts or transfers, even those to your church, can render a person ineligible for government assistance. In other words, you cannot give away your assets in order to obtain Medicaid benefits.
The new law changes the “look back” period from 3 years to 5 years. Under the old law, the penalty for transfers began running on the date of transfer. Under the new law, the penalty does not begin until a person is otherwise eligible and applies for government benefits. This applies to any transfer in which the person does not receive the full fair market value of the transferred asset in return.
Many attorneys who do not practice Elder Law do not understand these new rules and sometimes advise clients to transfer assets for IRS or estate planning purposes. It is VERY IMPORTANT that no transfers be made without seeking the advice of a qualified Elder Law attorney. Otherwise your ability to pay for long term care may be diminished or eliminated.
In the event that you have already made a transfer, you should consult with Deeb Elder Law so that we can assist you in finding a feasible solution.
Florida Asset Protection – Not Just for the Wealthy
As attorneys who focus only in Elder Law, we are lifelong resources to the families we serve. Our proficiency in the legal needs of Florida’s aging population enables us to offer counsel regarding every aspect of safeguarding seniors, their families and their property.
We are here to help you make strategic decisions today to protect your assets from future loss due to long term care expenses or other family and aging related issues. Contact us to schedule an introductory meeting to learn more about how we can assist you.