If you could get the state to pay for caring for your elderly parents, would you choose to? An entire segment of elder law attorney’s work is to structure financial resources and prepare documents to ensure eligibility, based on each state’s rules. By creating trusts or converting countable assets into assets that are exempt, family resources can be preserved. Unlike Medicare, a federal program, Medicaid is administered by each state and can vary greatly from state to state.
There are some people who question the ethics of providing this service for well-to-do clients, and believe Medicaid is for the poor. This group views the children – who end up with the assets eventually- as committing a form of elder abuse. Another group defends Medicaid planning as a wise financial decision like estate planning to avoid taxes. They view their parents as deserving of the financial break after paying into the system for a lifetime. Any negative impact on other seniors with lower financial means is the responsibility of the government.
A view that is often overlooked by both groups is the actual care itself. Care is not a commodity, essentially the same everywhere. Care is very personal, based on safety, capability, licensing, and reputation with environmental and geographic aspects to consider. Our position is that proper care is the most important aspect of the decision to be made. By finding a care home, nursing home, or assisted living community that the entire family is satisfied with first, the financial aspects of funding the care becomes a second, but informed step.
Having worked with thousands of families, we have seen too many times situations where thousands of dollars were spent to ensure Medicaid eligibility, but the facilities that accepted it was not acceptable to the family when it was time. Once an acceptable facility is found, a meeting with an elder law attorney to achieve the goal of funding that care can make sense. CarePatrol works with Elder Law Attorney’s as well as senior living communities in the geographic location that makes the most sense for a family. Planning is always a good thing.