Ask Questions & Get Free Legal Advice on
Protecting Assets, Long Term Health Care and More
from Cona Elder Law Elder Law Attorneys
Your 82 year old mom is getting frail and will probably go into a nursing home soon. Protecting her monetary assets and home as well as such issues as which sibling will make medical and financial decisions are some of the issues that will arise.
To assist baby boomers who are caring for their parents with the numerous and complex elder law challenges, Cona Elder Law (Cona Elder Law), a leading elder law and estate planning firm based in Melville, LI, has launched an Elder Law Web Hotline as a public service on their website: www.conaelderlaw.com. Every week, Cona Elder Law will post a few questions to be sent to: WebHotline@conalaw.com along with the attorney’s answer. The first name and hometown should be included and will be used online.
“We are continuously bombarded with hundreds of questions from baby boomers on how they can protect their family’s assets when long term care is needed,” says Jennifer Cona, elder law attorney and partner with Cona Elder Law. “With the speed and easy access to the internet via computer or cell phone, we are encouraging those with elderly parents to send us their specific questions, and we will choose several Q & A’s to post on a weekly basis.” In the past, Cona Elder Law sponsored a free telephone hotline held on specific days during the year when people would call and speak with an elder law attorney at no charge.
The types of questions often asked range from asset protection and long term care to the feasibility of home care versus a nursing home for an elderly parent.
A couple of typical questions are:
Q: Can I preserve any assets once my mom is placed in a nursing home?
A: You may be able to save about ½ of your mom’s assets by promissory note planning.
One half of the assets are gifted to you and the remainder is transferred to you as a loan that you promise to pay back with interest to mom on a monthly basis. This loan money is used to cover payments to the nursing home during the penalty period and once it is paid back, mom will be eligible for Medicaid benefits. You will be able to keep the gifted assets free and clear.
Q. My dad transferred money to me many years ago to become Medicaid eligible. How do I protect the money if something happens to me?
A. It may be best to establish an irrevocable trust with the assets so the money is protected from your creditors, possible divorce, bankruptcy or any other such issues. The money is protected for your dad’s Medicaid purposes once the look-back period (now 5 years) has passed.
For the Cona Elder Law Elder Law Web Hotline, Cona Elder Law anticipates such questions as the following to be submitted:
- Can an agent designated as my power of attorney make health care and financial decisions?
- Does a joint bank account count as my asset for Medicaid purposes?
- Will any gifts I make under the IRS limit of $13,000/year be free and clear for Medicaid
- Is an IRA considered an asset under Medicaid rules?
- Is there an income limit for Medicaid home care benefits?
- What is “spousal refusal”?
- How can I protect my home?
- What factors should I look for when choosing a nursing home?
Cona Elder Law, is a Melville, LI based law firm in practice for over 30 years. The firm provides a full range of elder law and estate planning services under the direction of Jennifer B. Cona, Esq. Cona Elder Law has been featured in print and broadcast media including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, L.I. Business News, Reader's Digest as well as WNBC-TV, CNNfn, News 12, WLNY-TV, News 55, WFAN and other radio programs.
Visit the Cona Elder Law website at www.conaelderlaw.com. Call: 631-693-5000 to get a free copy of: Your Guide To Elder Law and Estate Planning.