Yes! When someone is in a Florida nursing home, it can be very expensive, often exceeding $10,000 per month. This means that all but the very wealthy can afford a nursing home for an extended length of time. Importantly, assets can be protected with the correct planning and advice. The first rule is that you cannot give your assets away within 5 years of a nursing home application. The Medicaid transfer penalty rules are very strict. This does not mean, however, that an attorney cannot legally help protect assets. Hiring an elder law attorney will allow you to protect your loved one's assets, legally lowering the elder's assets to below the countable asset limit. We generally call the asset protection process part of Medicaid spend down. Once the family hires a good elder law attorney, the attorney knows legal ways to protect assets without giving the money away. Once the funds are legally lowered, the elder law attorney will apply for Medicaid.
Legal Spend Down Planning
I generally think about spend down planning as legal and effective ways to spend money without paying it all to the nursing home. Examples of spend down planning includes fixing up the applicant's home, purchasing irrevocable funeral contracts, paying for burial plots and more. We have more information on Medicaid spend down planning here.
Legal Asset Protection Planning
After legal spend down planning, an elder law attorney can help protect assets. Asset protection here does not mean giving money away (which is bad) but working with an attorney who knows how to protect assets and then apply for Medicaid.
Can Our Law Firm Help?
A nursing home Medicaid application can be very, very difficult. We have made over 500 Medicaid applications at our office, all without a single denial. We are glad to help you and your loved one if they are in a nursing home or assisted living facility, no matter where you are in the state of Florida. We offer a free initial consultation to see if we can help.
Read Our Free Book on Medicaid and Long-Term Care!
I have written a book, Don't Lose Your Nest Egg to a Florida Nursing Home, available for download. My book discusses long-term care, Medicaid, Medicare and many other topics that can help the family in a difficult time.
Other Frequently Asked Questions:
- Florida Medicaid Assisted Living Benefits
- Medicaid and Asset Rules in Florida
- My Elder just went to the nursing home - what happens next?