Many individuals in Ohio are concerned about the cost of nursing home care and expenses. Families are concerned about the “spend down”; which is when assets must be liquidated unless otherwise exempt to qualify for Medicaid.
To schedule an initial planning meeting, feel free to contact one of our Elder law attorneys in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Cincinnati Ohio Elder Law Attorney
Our law firm works with clients on the process of Elder Law and Medicaid Planning in Cincinnati, Ohio. This includes an analysis by an attorney to determine which assets are exempt and which assets are subject to the spend-down amount to qualify for Medicaid.
After the analysis is provided, we work with clients to assess the risk in transferring assets which may include irrevocable trusts or third parties. It is best to plan before there is an illness or medical condition, but there are still things that can be done. There is a lookback period of 60 months or five years for unauthorized transfers which could create a penalty period from government benefits; you would not want to engage in gifting without counsel from an attorney.
If one spouse is already in the nursing home, to determine the accurate amount required for spend-down, we need to determine the exact amount and value of each asset on the snapshot date. The snapshot date is the day the spouse entered the nursing home.
We work with clients and contact financial entities for information regarding the account values on the snapshot date.
What Assets are Exempt from Medicaid in Ohio?
Subject to some limitations, for a married couple, the home, a car, personal property, burial plots and irrevocable funeral arrangements are exempt for Medicaid purposes. There is also a community spouse resource allowance, which varies from year-to-year.
Generally, in regards to spend down, expenditures for the benefit of you, the spouse in the nursing home or the house are appropriate. These may include:
1) A new car;
2) Maintenance, repairs, upgrades for the house;
3) Any items for the institutionalized spouse’s room and clothing,.;
4) Elder Law Attorney fees;
5) Tax withholding and any fees for liquidation of assets; or
6) A pooled payback trust.
Since the cost of legal services is an acceptable expenditure, it is best to consult with an Elder Law Attorney who can advise and conduct Medicaid Planning.
If you have questions on these topics, contact our firm for an initial consultation.
If you already have an Estate Plan, but you’re not sure if an update is needed, here is an Estate Plan Review Checklist. This checklist includes important items to consider when reviewing an existing plan.
Medicaid and Elder Law Topics:
- Elder Financial Protection
- Underestimating the Risk of Disability
- The Growth of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Nursing Home Checklist (published by Medicare.gov/NHCompare)
- Ohio Financial Power of Attorney
- Annual Gift Tax Exclusion vs. Medicaid Look Back Period
- Medicaid Asset Protection Videos
- Understanding Elder Abuse in Ohio
- Power of Attorney – Coagents