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422 North Northwest Highway, B-5
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

Park Ridge IL Medicaid and Estate Planning Legal Blog

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Importance of Medicaid Planning in Illinois

Q: How can Medicaid planning protect my assets?

Estate planning is something many of us put off because the thought of our own death or disability makes us uncomfortable. But failure to get our legal affairs in order can leave our loved ones unprotected and financially vulnerable—which is even more frightening.

As part of a comprehensive estate plan, an Illinois Medicaid planning attorney will help you protect your assets and pay for your long-term care if you need a nursing home someday.

To qualify for Medicaid, your income and assets must be below a certain amount and non-exempt assets cannot exceed $2,000. Proper Medicaid planning is designed to get your assets transferred so they are considered "off the table" for Medicaid purposes--ideally at least five years before nursing home care is needed.

It's important that Medicaid planning to be done early as there is a five-year “look back” period on asset transfers. Despite this, a skilled Medicaid planning attorney may still be able to arrange "crisis planning” by reviewing your exempt asset transfers, so it is always wise to see a Medicaid planning attorney even if you're facing an immediate long-term care situation.

Placing a loved one in a nursing home is never easy, and as the residents and family members of one Decatur nursing home recently learned, it may not be permanent either. The home was suddenly shutting its doors.

An abrupt notice that all residents must leave the particular facility within 48 hours placed one nursing home and its occupants in "utter chaos" as families scrambled to find alternate nursing home care for their loved ones, many of whom had lived in the facility for several years. It was equally upsetting to those who had just moved in a week ago. One sister had recently gotten her brother placed there after 10 years of trying to find a local facility for him.

Although a comprehensive estate plan, including Medicaid planning, can't protect against such an uncommon and unforeseen scenario, it can provide seniors and their loved ones with asset protection and financial security for their long-term care needs.

If you or a loved one needs to create or modify an estate plan, the Law Office of Thomas J. Hansen can help. Contact us today for a consultation.

From our office in Park Ridge, we represent clients in Cook County as well as Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview, Norridge, and Rosemont, Illinois.

 




Thomas J. Hansen, LTD. assists clients in Park Ridge, Cook County, IL as well as Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview, Norridge, and Rosemont.



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