In any comprehensive estate plan, a letter of instruction (LOI) is an important component. An…
Why the Durable Power of Attorney is critical for Medicaid Planning
John Smith, who has dementia, need nursing home care at $160,000 per year.
His two children, Chris and Danielle, have no access to his bank checking account and his other assets because there is no Durable power of attorney in place.
He owns a two-family home which his daughter lives with him the past five years.
He also has liquid assets of approximately $500,000.
So, the children are not able to do the following:
- Privately pay for his nursing home care until they can qualify him for Medicaid.
- Implement Medicaid planning to access Medicaid to pay the nursing home bill while preserving their father’s assets to supplement his care and pay for extras.
- Under the Medicaid rules, the house can be transferred to the daughter without a Medicaid transfer penalty and some of the liquid assets can be protected thru a partial gift / promissory note strategy.
The problem is that it will take several months before the children are appointed guardians which will cost their father – 4 months of private pay to the nursing home -$53,333 based on my example.
They will have to pay for the cost of a guardianship proceeding and ask the court for approval to implement Medicaid planning. This could cost over $10,000 in legal fees and court costs to accomplish.
PS – if the children do not get along, then there may be a problem implementing the Medicaid plan and who is appointed guardian. A disaster.
If you have questions or concerns about Medicaid Planning, please contact us.
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