Medicaid for nursing home care or Washington State’s COPES program offers care benefits to Washingtonians who are medically indigent. There are two parts. The Medicaid or COPES applicant must be “functionally eligible” and “financially eligible.” If you are already in a nursing home, Medicaid concedes that you are functionally eligible. If you are not in a nursing home, to be eligible, you have to pass a test. Kinda. [Read more…]
Where do I begin? This question is a series of blogs. But, here goes. The problem my clients have is that they are paying more for care than they make in income. This forces them to spend down their retirement assets. One solution is a federal program enacted after John F. Kennedy was killed called Medicaid. Medicaid pays for care for Americans who are in a nursing home but are medically inidigent. Those rules are complicated. But, if you are a single person, Medicaid considers you indigent if you have no more than $2,000 in the bank. Medicaid does not count [Read more…]
The idea of long term care differs between government programs. In Washington’s Medicaid regulations, the definitions are complicated. To prove that proposition, I have posted the definitions from the Medicaid regulations below that define “long term care services.” WAC stands for “Washington Administrative Code.” Read through the list of definitions and welcome to my world. [Read more…]
How do you find a decent elder law attorney in Tacoma, WA, Kirkland, WA or elsewhere? What is an elder law attorney anyway? In Tacoma, WA, a elder law attorney might answer this question, what is an elder law attorney, differently than an attorney in Kirkland, WA let alone a different state. Some elder law attorneys focus only on guardianships. I myself am a probate attorney but my definition of elder law attorney in one that helps families pay for long term care. [Read more…]
While federal estate tax exemptions have allowed a vast majority of wealthy individuals to avoid hefty estate taxes after the death of a loved one, families in some parts of the country are still subject to state taxation. 21 states, including Washington, have put separate levies on personal estates and inheritance. While the federal exemption allows for $5.25 million untaxed dollars, in most of these states, only $1 million is exempt. Any amount over the exempt limit is subject to taxation percentages. Therefore, in a state like [Read more…]
When choosing an Assisted Living Facility (ALF), my clients often make decisions based solely upon amenities, location or the pet policy. Too rarely, attention is paid to the lease agreement. In most cases, residents sign a contract to rent an apartment with additional features such as prepared meals, activities and transportation. Care services are added to the base rent.
Unfortunately, [Read more…]
What is “Estate Planning?” Ever wonder? Attorneys and financial advisors use the term frequently. When you hear the words, you likely think first of an attorney drawing up legal documents, documents such as a Last Will and Testament, Powers of Attorney or a Trust. When speaking with your financial advisor, he or she might discuss with you issues such as probate and estate tax. It is completely understandable if you are still not entirely clear about the meaning of the term “estate planning.” It is understandable because estate planning is not paperwork and it is not a tax return. Estate planning is the sometimes complicated process of passing your assets to your loved ones after you die. [Read more…]