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Why Should I Start Medicaid Planning Early?

Older adults who have been saving their whole lives may discover that the cost of staying in a nursing home or other facility will just be too much. They may also realize the difficult choice they face between providing for their own medical and personal care and leaving a legacy to their loved ones. For this reason, people may have to count on getting on Medicaid, a government healthcare program for those who cannot afford their own coverage, in order to afford long-term care in a facility. They will need to plan for this prospect and do so with plenty of time to spare.

Giving Away Wealth May Come At A Price

Like other government programs, Medicaid requires people to have a limited income and limited assets. The point of these requirements is to make sure that Medicaid benefits are going to those who need it. People may be tempted to think that the easy solution is just to give away wealth before they need long-term care so that they can qualify for the Medicaid program.

However, like other states, Kentucky and Tennessee have what is called a look-back rule. Under this rule, Medicaid can deny eligibility to those who gave away assets within the 5 years before applying for the program, even if they otherwise qualify for it. Specifically, in Kentucky, for every $6,000 given away, Medicaid can impose a 1-month waiting period on benefits. In other words, someone with no assets but who gave $60,000 to his or her kids 4 years ago will have to figure out some way to pay the nursing home bills for 10 months. Obviously, such circumstances can cause a major financial hardship for a family.

This is one reason why an older adult may need Medicaid in order to cover a nursing home stay should start the process early and do so with the proper professional legal help. The same dedication and planning spent with your physicians on your personal health and well being should also be applied to your legal and financial health. However, it can be extremely confusing! This is where an Elder Law Attorney is needed to step in an help you and your loved one navigate the healthcare maze, legally and financially.


Jake Mason, Owner of Mason & Associates Law Firm, is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation and is a Board-Certified Elder Law Specialist by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education, an agency of the Tennessee Supreme Court. He and his team are dedicated to working with you step by step to help qualify for benefits, usually without having to sell all of your assets. They will work with you step by step to provide peace of mind, respect family dynamics and personal values, and visit you wherever you call home, if needed. Mason is also dedicated to providing education on all matters related to your area of need. He will walk beside you and your loved ones through the entire process, while guiding you through the complex system with ease.



About the Company:

Mason & Associates Law Firm, formerly known as Heritage Law Group, PLLC, is a boutique Estate Planning and Elder Law firm assisting residents in Tennessee and Kentucky, with offices in Gallatin and Nashville, Tennessee. We are dedicated to providing client-centered, professional legal services that are individualized through one-on-one consultations. We delight in empowering our clients and community through education and providing specialized resources. Our integrity-driven team will help you protect your legacy while delivering outstanding quality at a reasonable cost. Your Legacy Is Our Priority™

Jake Mason, J.D., LL.M. (Elder Law & Estate Planning), CELA, EPLS, is the Owner of Mason & Associates Law Firm in Gallatin, Tennessee. He is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney with the National Elder Law Foundation, is board-certified in Estate Planning and Probate by The Estate Law Specialist Board, Inc., of the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, is accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and is licensed in Kentucky and Tennessee. Mason is the only attorney in Tennessee or Kentucky with Board-Certifications in both Elder Law & Estate Planning. Contact us to schedule a consultation via phone, in-office, or video conference at info@planyourlegacy.com or Gallatin (615) 989-7054 | Nashville (615) 619-2791.