An increasing number of clients express concerns to us about long term nursing home stays. Long term nursing home stays can be a result of a failure in health, a gradual decline in the ability to live independently or both. Some client’s have lost their home and savings in a matter of several years
You may be unaware of Illinois law which holds that you must “spend down” all your assets (meaning no assets are left) before any state aid is available. Until you reach spend down you are required to pay for a nursing home stay out of your own pocket. Payments can be in the range of $4,000-$7,000 per month in the Chicagoland area. This results in a loss to you of $60,000-$84,000 per year. If this continues for several years the results can be devastating.
Consequently, our clients are now asking us to help them in the type of estate planning that emphasizes Medicaid planning so that they can protect their home and saving from a complete Medicaid spend down if they go into a nursing home. We are happy to provide such services to our clientele, but it must be emphasized that this planning is best done early on before any mental incapacity occurs.
If you are a son or daughter that is caring for elderly parents, and your parents do not have estate planning documents that permit any sort of Medicaid planning, then such Medicaid planning and document preparation is crucial. Therefore, I encourage the children of elderly persons to come into our office and discuss their parents’ concerns and to take advantage of opportunities that prevent assets from being lost to long term nursing home stays.
Remember, just because you have a will, trust, and powers of attorney, this doesnot mean that such documents were drafted with Medicaid planning in mind. Therefore, if it is your intention to have your documents protect against a long term nursing home stay, then it is our recommendation that you contact me to discuss this now.
By: Anthony B. Ferraro
Attorney – CPA
*This document is for discussion purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. You should never attempt estate planning without the advice of competent legal counsel. Please feel free to contact our offices if we may assist you.**
Copyright 2007 THE LAW OFFICES OF ANTHONY B. FERRARO, Rosemont, Il.