Medicaid Planning

New Jersey Medicaid Planning Lawyers

At Begley Law Group, our dedicated and compassionate New Jersey Medicaid planning attorneys are intimately familiar with all Medicaid requirements as well as effective strategies to preserve assets. We help families obtain Medicaid benefits while protecting what they have worked so hard to accumulate throughout their life.

NJ Medicaid Planning Attorneys

According to recent studies, approximately 70% of all people will need long-term care at some point in their lives.

The cost of this care in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is high, and rising at an alarming rate. For example, costs of care can average $28 per hour or more for in-home care, between $6,000 – $10,000 per month for assisted living, and between $10,000 – $14,000 per month for nursing home care.  For families who have the assets, they must pay out-of-pocket for these expenses, unless they have a long-term care insurance policy, which is rare. Paying for long-term care can impact a family, especially a spouse who will remain at home.

Medicaid Planning Questionnaire

Should I consider Long Term Care Planning for myself or a member of my family? Our planning questionnaires help you focus your unique needs.

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Skilled Pennsylvania and New Jersey Medicaid Planning Law Firm Helps Clients Plan for Long-Term Care

As skilled Medicaid planning attorneys, we help clients structure their financial resources and prepare the necessary documentation to ensure Medicaid eligibility.

We create trusts, facilitate the transfer of assets, and convert countable assets to exempt assets to ensure an applicant's eligibility and preserve their family's resources. In so doing, we can protect a family home from Medicaid recovery. Throughout this process, we take special care to manage a family's finances to ensure that the non-applicant spouse has sufficient income and resources to continue living independently.

The Costs of Long-Term Care in New Jersey and Pennsylvania

When the need for long-term care arises, the costs can be astronomical. Unfortunately, Medicare only pays for very limited stays in nursing homes or rehabilitation centers. This leaves Medicaid as the only option to help cover the costs of long-term care, unless someone has a long-term care insurance policy.

In New Jersey, the cost of nursing home care can be as high as $170,000 per year. Similarly, in Pennsylvania, the cost of similar care is $150,000. In-home care, while less expensive, is still very costly. For example, in parts of New Jersey, the cost of in-home care is upwards of $28 per hour, and $24 per hour in Pennsylvania.

Maintain benefit eligibility while preserving assets

For most, the primary concern of a Medicaid plan is to obtain benefit eligibility while preserving familial assets, including a family home, and ensuring the continued independence and wellbeing of the spouse that is not applying for Medicaid.

The good news is that it is possible to transfer ownership of a home and other assets while maintaining Medicaid eligibility. However, doing so requires some planning. Chief among the concerns surrounding Medicaid eligibility is the five-year lookback period: If a Medicaid applicant transfers assets to another person within five years of applying, Medicaid may penalize them with a period of ineligibility.

To get around this, some people transfer their home to their children, wait five years, and then apply for Medicaid. This is usually not a good idea for several reasons outlined below.

Transferring Assets Before Applying for Medicaid

While every family's situation is unique, certain tools and strategies are commonly used to create a comprehensive Medicaid plan.

  • Several problems can arise when a home is placed in a child's name.

    For example, the child's creditors can come after the home. And if the child gets divorced, then the child's former spouse may be able to use the home to obtain a larger portion of the child's assets. If a child receives government benefits, transferring the home in their name may render them ineligible.

  • There are several tax repercussions to transferring a home to a child.

    For example, if the child needs to sell the home after the transfer, they may lose out on the primary residence exclusion, requiring they pay more taxes than would otherwise be necessary. In addition, the cost-basis for the child would be whatever the value of the home was when the parent purchased it, rather than the value at the time of the transfer. This too will increase the effective tax.

  • Parents lose control.

    Finally, by transferring a home to children, parents lose control over the home. For example, if a child or child's spouse is unscrupulous, they could sell the house out from underneath the parent or mortgage the house to obtain funds for the child's own benefit. 

Grantor Trusts

Rather than transferring the home to children, parents could consider transferring the property to a grantor trust. Also referred to as a children's trust, a grantor trust allows children to take advantage of tax benefits, while giving parents control over what happens with the home during their lifetime.

A children's trust is just one option when it comes to Medicaid planning. Those considering a Medicaid plan should reach out to a dedicated New Jersey Medicaid planning attorney for assistance.

Medicaid Planning with Begley Law Group, PC

Our goal is to provide security for the spouse and preserve a legacy for the children.

What you get with a Begley Law Group, PC consultation:

  • We’ll review all public benefit programs that pay for long-term care.
  • We’ll review strategies that help protect your assets.
  • We’ll estimate how much money we can save you.
  • We’ll value your stocks, bonds, automobile and residence.
  • We’ll evaluate your Existing Will, Living Will, POA & Trust.
  • Your consultation fee is applied to your final fee if the firm is retained.

Here’s what you get when you retain us:

  • A written Detailed Asset Protection Plan tailored to just for you.
  • A binder containing your Asset Protection Plan and all documents.
  • Assistance re-titling your real estate, brokerage accounts, and other assets.
  • Assistance with changing your beneficiary designations on life insurance, annuities and retirement plans.
  • Follow-through until you become eligible for Medicaid. (or five years which ever first occurs).
  • Regular scheduled updates and answers to your questions.

At the New Jersey estate planning law firm, Begley Law Group, we routinely help clients plan for the future of their family by creating effective, comprehensive estate plans.

Necessarily, this includes devising an effective Medicaid plan that will ensure eligibility while preserving family assets. When you arrange to meet with our attorneys, we will review all your existing wills, living wills, and powers of attorney. The existing documents may be adequate, in which case no changes need to be made. If we determine that your family may benefit by making changes to your existing plan, we will explain those proposals in detail, leaving you to make the decision.

Begley Law Group Special Reports

Our attorneys literally wrote the book on Medicaid Planning in New Jersey. In addition, our firm attorneys have been active throughout the State in bringing forth legislation to help protect the legal rights and planning opportunities for elderly and disabled individuals.

Begley Law Group can take care of everything by preparing the trust and the new deed and having the trust and the deed properly executed, witnessed, acknowledged, and recorded in the county recording office. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our New Jersey estate planning lawyers, call 856.235.8501, or toll-free at 800.533.7227. You can also reach out to us through our online form.