K. Gabriel Heiser is an attorney with over 25 years of experience in elder law and estate planning. He is the author of "How to Protect Your Family's Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs: Medicaid Secrets," an annually updated practical guide for the layperson.

Articles

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Let's say your parent's home is exempt, and your aging mom moves into a nursing home. Must the caregiver and other members sell the home?

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Caregivers often want to know how to protect family assets, but ensure their elderly parents still qualify for public assistance benefts such as Medicaid.

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Hiding assets by not reporting them to Medicaid is illegal and considered fraud against the state. However, there are a number of legal techniques for protecting your parent's assets so that they pass to you.

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Should caregivers and elders use advice from neighbors and friends when planning their Medicaid coverage?

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There are some conditions that impact whether Medicaid “counts” an elder’s home as an asset once they move into a nursing home. Get the facts straight to ensure your primary residence is exempt for Medicaid eligibility purposes.

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Find out how annuities play into Medicaid planning for your elderly parents. It may seem hard to believe that annuities can help the elderly qualify for Medicaid - yes, Medicaid. This is sometimes called the "Half-A-Loaf" approach, and in certain cases, it can be a lifesaver for those who need the help the most.

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If an elder's Medicaid long-term health care benefits run out, assisted living facilities and nursing homes are legally allowed to ask elders who can no longer pay to leave.

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Members of the military and their families are entitled to many different medical and monetary benefits in exchange for their service, but divorce can have a serious impact on a former spouse’s eligibility for these programs.

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Many people, like your elderly aunt, are afraid to deal with wills, powers of attorney, etc. because they think it makes it more likely that something bad will happen to them.

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If your mother is no longer able to provide care for your father and he is not competent to sign a durable power of attorney, petition the court to appoint a legal guardian and conservator.

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Many people are surprised to learn that they can own several different types of assets and still be eligible for Medicaid coverage. It's just a matter of knowing the rules and planning legally and financially to meet your state’s requirements.

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When the “principal” (the person who signs a power of attorney document) dies, the POA terminates. A different type of legal authority then becomes necessary to gain access to the deceased’s assets and bank accounts.

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For seniors who are living with hearing loss, devices like hearing aids can facilitate communication, boost their confidence and desire to socialize, and increase overall quality of life. Unfortunately, hearing aids are often paid for out of pocket.

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Does a person or adult child need power of attorney in order to request information from the medical staff at an elderly parent's nursing home or hospital?

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Medicare does not cover the cost of adult day care, but seniors can receive financial assistance and respite care services through Medicaid, the VA and other community support programs.

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Medicaid covers residential skilled nursing care for low-income seniors who qualify. However, upon the death of a Medicaid recipient, the state may seek repayment of its outlays for the senior’s long-term care.

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The goal of the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) is to recoup all the money that Medicaid spent on a beneficiary’s care. Learn what families can do to minimize the impact of the recovery process.

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Under certain circumstances, life insurance policies are considered countable assets and can affect Medicaid eligibility. Some seniors must include their life insurance policies in their spend-down strategy to qualify for Medicaid long-term care services.

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When someone you love passes away, the last thing you want to think about is locating legal documents and handling financial matters. Use these steps to make the probate process as simple as possible.

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Seniors are pitched the benefits of a reverse mortgage as a way to "unlock" the equity in their home. However, what happens when they need a higher level of care, can no longer live in the home or try to qualify for Medicaid?

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