The Last Two Mistakes to Avoid

 6. Having an insufficient power of attorney

When a married applicant receives Medicaid approval, the couple has 1 year or less to make transfers of money or property to the community spouse. Even before that, assets in the name of the applicant may need to be liquidated, transferred, or spent down to qualify.

If the applicant lacks a power of attorney, and then becomes incapacitated due to disease, stroke, or dementia, savings opportunities can be lost.

If the applicant does have a power of attorney, does it have the needed provisions? Before you say, as many people do, “My power of attorney must have everything I need – it goes on for pages and pages,” look more closely. Does it contain gifting provisions? Does it authorize “unlimited” gifting or only “limited” gifting?

If gifting provisions are described as “limited,” the applicant’s spouse may have trouble meeting the transfer requirement.

This example shows just one of the ways insufficiently drafted powers of attorney can cost couples thousands in unnecessary legal expenses, spend-down costs, or lost savings opportunities.

Solution: An elder law attorney experienced in Medicaid issues can prepare a power of attorney that contains the provisions you need to make sure you can qualify for Medicaid benefits while protecting assets for your spouse and other family members, even if you lose the ability to make your own decisions.

 7. Not getting expert advice about how to pay for long-term care

 Paying for long-term care in a nursing facility has become complicated, and the system grows increasingly complex. Government benefits can help, but you have to know how and when to qualify. Solutions vary depending on your unique circumstances and goals.

Proceeding without the right advice could cost you and your family dearly, or lead to the eventual impoverishment of your spouse.

Solution: For a modest consultation fee, you can have an elder law attorney review your circumstances and talk to you about how you can pay for long-term care while doing everything you can to protect assets and meet other goals.

This report provides general information for Texas residents and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. Practices may vary in other states. For legal advice in a particular situation, you should consult with a lawyer.

Thanks, Richard

[email protected]


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