Elder law is a broad field of practice that encompasses estate planning, asset preservation, guardianship, long term care, Medicaid eligibility and Trusts. Elder law is not limited to the old and infirm. Elder planning should be an ongoing process to assure that an individual has the needed legal protection when entering their twilight years.

The Law Office of Paul Kolesnikovas can assist clients in all aspects of planning. The best planning occurs well in advance of any critical medical issues. This allows an individual to make choices in the areas of selecting an agent/representative to handle their affairs ( Power of Attorney ), a smooth transition of assets ( Last Will & Testament ), avoid Probate ( Trusts), make end of life decisions ( Health Care Proxy with or without directives ) , preserve hard earned savings from nursing home costs, ( Asset protection ). The Law Office of Paul Kolesnikovas offers many types of plans to meet theses needs.

Practice Areas include:

  • Estate Planning to Address Retirement concerns
  • Asset protection
  • Medicaid eligibility
  • Crisis planning
  • Nursing Home admission

Medicaid Eligibility

The best time to plan for eligibility is far before a crisis occurs or health issues arise. There are complex rules which regulate the transfer of assets within 60 months  ( 5 years )  from the date of admission into a facility. Therefore the wisest planners will address the issue as an ongoing process of planning and review to cover all possible cases. However, there are still measures which can be undertaken for asset protection at the time of an admission. This is especially true if a healthy spouse remains at home.

Medicaid eligibility is a very complicated area of law. There has been a great deal of recent changes in the Law and most professional believe there will be more changes in the near future. Any individual applying for Medicaid eligibility should seek the advise of an attorney. An attorney can assist in giving advise on how to classify assets and take all necessary steps to gain eligibility. In cases where the nursing home patient has a spouse in the community, it is critical to appropriate the correct legal rules governing spousal allowances for assets CSRA and income MMNA.

TRUSTS

 

It is important to utilize the right form of Trust for Medicaid planning. The wrong form of trust will trigger trust assets to be countable in a Medicaid eligibility review, thus not properly preserving the asset. Many individuals are under the mistaken belief that if they have a Trust which avoids Probate, that this Trust also protects assets under Medicaid rules. Such an assumption IS FALSE.

In order to qualify as a non countable asset, Trust assets must be held in a qualified Irrevocable Income only Trust –  IIOT. Most probate avoidance Trusts are revocable living trusts.  Assets in a Revocable Trust are countable for Medicaid even when the Trust has been in existence longer than five years.

To Qualify assets must be transfer to a Trust which is:

  • Irrevocable—- once made cannot be changed.
  • Income only —- The Trust Grantor can only receive income generated by the trust during his/her lifetime.
  • Meet the five year transfer rule

Once qualified the assets are:

  • Protected from nursing home
  • Avoid Probate
  • Stepped-up tax basis for heirs

However, since the assets cannot be touched such a Trust must be well planned.