Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Longstreet Elder Law

QUESTION: I've heard that Medicaid is making big changes to long term care. Can I still protect my assets?

ANSWER: Recently, Michigan's Department of Human Services has begun denying eligibility in Medicaid long term care cases in which there is a married per- son, and in which assets were placed in a so- called "solely for the benefit" trust ("SBO trust"). For those of us who do Medicaid planning, the SBO trust is the most favored planning tool in most married persons cases. The SBO trust has traditionally allowed assets in excess of the protected spousal amount to be preserved for the needs of the community spouse. The State of Michigan will not say why it changed its interpretation of Medicaid policy that allowed for the trust and gave no warning to folks applying for Medicaid that the interpretation would change.

The good news is that other planning options exist and should be considered. Each of these options have challenges and considerations which need to be thoughtfully reviewed.

We are entering a new era of long term care planning. Now, more than ever, seniors facing long term care costs need experienced and knowledgeable legal advice in order to protect and preserve their estate.

Please contact our office to discuss the latest changes to Michigan's Medicaid policy and the most up-to-date planning techniques for you and your family.