Merced Medi-Cal Planning Lawyer

Central California firm creates Medi-Cal planning and eligibility solutions

Many Californians cannot pay the burdensome cost of long-term care without some assistance. This is where Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid, is supposed to step in and close the gap.  For long-term care, the state looks at the assets you have under control to determine if you will be covered. Even many people just getting by on Social Security do not qualify under this tough standard. However, with sound guidance from Curry and Curry in Merced, you have the chance to put a plan in place that safeguards and even accelerates your eligibility and averts painful consequences such as the forced sale of your home after you have died. The time to start preparing for Medi-Cal qualification for long-term care is now, because late gift-giving and other last-minute measures are often not available strategies when the government determines eligibility.

Eligibility for Medi-Cal coverage

You might not know if you will need long-term care during your senior years, but taking decisive steps now can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will be eligible for these benefits should you need them. My firm can create a step by step plan to accelerate your eligibility for benefits and legal tools to give an agent or trustee flexibility to carry out the plan if you become incapacitated. We can alternatively create an Asset Protection Trust specifically to permit you or your trustee to keep the value of property you own under the level at which long-term care coverage is denied and to protect your property from estate recovery. As changes occur within your life and the Medi-Cal rules change, certain adjustments might need to be made by the trustee. I will help you or the trustee complete those transactions if you wish.

Preventing Medi-Cal from recovering your assets as reimbursement for your benefits

After a Medi-Cal recipient has died, the state has the authority and obligation to take assets from the decedent’s estate as reimbursement for benefits they received during their lifetime. This can put surviving family members at serious risk unless an effective asset preservation plan is in place, because the total bill could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even more. Fortunately, if you have shifted your home and other substantial assets into the Asset Protection Trust, Medi-Cal cannot reach those assets and you can direct that the trustee shift ownership to your children or other beneficiaries when you die. Such a trust is particularly useful if you might sell your residence before you need long-term care. You and your family can continue to live in your residence even if it is sheltered by the asset protection trust you create. However, if you wait too long to take this step, or other strategies that I can suggest, you might not be able to stop the recovery process and your loved ones could be forced to sell the family home following your death. 

Medi-Cal arrangements as part of your overall estate plan

Even careful estate planning might not help you if nearly all of the assets you’ve accumulated over a lifetime are used to pay for a nursing home or an aide to provide care in your residence. Similarly, a spouse or child who stands to inherit the family home could be thwarted if you don’t have a reliable recovery prevention plan in place. As an elder law attorney with extensive experience handling wills and probate matters along with long-term care planning, I can give you a full perspective on your situation and options.

Contact a Central California attorney to discuss your Medi-Cal planning 

Curry and Curry in Merced provides knowledgeable counsel on Medi-Cal planning and eligibility issues. Please call 209-720-3912 or contact me online to schedule a meeting regarding your specific situation.