How and when should assets be assessed to protect aging of the care providing partner?

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My husband has PDisease, is 83. I am 77 and primary care provider. Is there a way to protect any of our assets to allow for my aging.and possible care needs.

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Planning considerations will largely be dependent on the total dollar value of Medicaid countable assets and the state in which you live as asset protections afforded spouses against Medicaid spend-down are state specific.

For instance, some states will allow the spouse not applying for Medicaid (known as the Community Spouse) to retain up to $117,240 (in 2014) in countable assets (home, automobile, personal effects and other items are not counted). Since asset transfers between spouses are never penalized, if you live in one of these states and have under $117,240 you presently have nothing to be concerned about. Other states have Community Spouse protections that are not so lenient.

For your own peace of mind, it would make sense to speak with a professional about the options you will have when the time comes for your husband to apply for Medicaid. I would suggest this consultation also make sure that your current Powers of Attorney and other advance directives are in order. Another consideration to discuss is what happens if you predecease your spouse or become incapacitated yourself. Having the correct documents in place and a well thought out estate plan is as important as the financial planing.
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Your really do need to sit down with an Elder Law Attorney, because Medicaid looks back five years at any transfers.
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Hopefully, you have all assets, financials in joint name. Make an apt with reputable elder law attorney in your area and ask for a consult. It will be with the investment and give you and your husband peace of mind.
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At 77, you are still young and have time to do some serious planning for your future. Really I'd go ahead and schedule an appointment with an elder law attorney in your area. This is a speciality practice and really your nephews college roommate who went to law school and does personal injury law is NOT experienced to do this. If you are in a smaller town, you will need to go to a bigger city for this but it will be priceless in the long run for you.

A good elder law attorney will also have a others their practice works with, so if say you need to do some estate planning, they can co-ordinate that; or if it looks like your doing a SPIA is a good plan, they can co-ordinate that with a financial planner. Parkinson's has its own special set of issues and it's good you are doing this now before he needs increased caregiving.

There are some things you should do on your own & have organized to take with you to the attorney meeting. What is helpful is to do a "face sheet" for both yourself & your spouse. In this you detail all your personal items, like DOB, all marriage & divorce details; all details on children for both of you; your will & any codicils done; and any other legal done (like Advance Directives). Then gather up info on your assets like the current tax assessor bill on your house and your last banking statements and any awards letters you all get (like the annual one from SOcial security and any retirement programs), so you have a better idea of what you asset base is. And roughly what you spent on caregiving the last year - if you have been doing this for free than an estimate of how many hours each day are truly dedicated caregiving time. You just want to get a clearer picture of what your time and your costs and your overall financial situation is. This will make the initial visit to the attorney much more of a useful and cost effective visit. For the first visit, if you want to go by yourself as it makes things more manageable, I'd do that and then take hubby with you for the next visit.

For Park, there are a organizations that have chapters nationwide. You may want to contact them to see if perhaps they have a couple of attorney names that others within the group has used and understand better what Park is all about. Good luck, getting started with planning is hard but you will be so glad you did this!
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