Stages of Planning
At Procino-Wells & Woodland, LLC, we help clients in various stages of planning to protect their assets from the costs of long term care. Some of our clients are enjoying healthy retirement years while considering the potential costs of long term care. Some are considering options as they see the reality of long term care in the near future. Other clients are presently receiving long term care assistance at home or in a facility. Despite what stage of planning a family is in, it’s important to make sure they understand their options.
If you or a loved one are facing the cost of long term care at any stage, you should consider meeting with an attorney who focuses on this area of the law as soon as possible. It’s never too early, and never too late, to make critical planning decisions about paying for long term care. There are public benefits that are available as a payer source in order to alleviate the financial stress of long term care.
Medicaid is a federal program, governed locally by each state. Medicaid is often a potential payer source for the cost of long term care. Procino-Wells & Woodland, LLC acts as an advocate for you and your family to achieve Medicaid eligibility. We eliminate the misconceptions associated with Medicaid and guide you through the complex rules and processes. Moreover, because we understand the intricacies of the regulations, we can help you protect your assets by implementing proven planning strategies permissible under the law.
After a consultation and comprehensive intake meeting, we are able to fully analyze your family’s current situation through a written Asset Protection Plan. This analysis provides a roadmap of the steps ahead, which often includes implementation of asset protection planning strategies. After implementation of the plan, we then complete and submit the Medicaid application on your behalf, seeing you through approval of benefits, every step of the way.
VA Pension Planning
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers many benefits to Veterans and their surviving spouses. Unfortunately, more times than not, eligible individuals do not realize the benefits available to them. At Procino-Wells & Woodland, LLC, our attorneys are accredited by the VA. This means that they can advocate for their clients by preparing, presenting, and prosecuting claims before the VA.
Our focus is on a type of benefit called VA Pension with Aid and Attendance. For eligible Veterans and their surviving spouses, this is a monthly monetary benefit that is paid by the VA when the claimant is in need of the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required in everyday living, such as bathing, feeding, and dressing.
Sometimes, both Medicaid and Veterans benefits are sought at the same time. In other instances, VA is applied for separately. Regardless, the benefit paid by the VA can be a critical part of an overall plan.
Miller Trusts (aka Qualified Income Trusts)
Because Medicaid is a need based program, certain eligibility rules apply which limit the amount of income and assets an applicant can own to be eligible for benefits. Delaware is an “income cap” state for Medicaid eligibility. That cap limits Medicaid assistance for long term care to adults with gross monthly income below a certain amount. A person with monthly income above the cap amount does not initially qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Often though, even if a person has income which exceeds the applicable income cap, their income is insufficient to fully pay their monthly expenses. In those cases, the law allows income to be placed in a Miller Trust. The trust arrangement helps a person qualify for Medicaid even if his income is too high. This trust allows that person, when he is otherwise qualified for Medicaid, to meet the income limit and get Medicaid assistance.
Miller Trusts are probably the most highly confused legal document. As explained above, they are established to satisfy Medicaid’s income eligibility rules. They are not created until Medicaid benefits are being sought and they do not protect or shelter assets in any way.