Elder Law and Medicaid Planning
Elder law, while a very focused area of practice for lawyers, is increasingly being offered by law firms, and it isn’t difficult to understand why. The increased number of “Baby Boomers” (individuals born from 1946 to 1964) reaching retirement age, combined with increased life expectancy due to advances in medical technology, have led to a larger senior population than every before. According to the United States Census Bureau, since 2010, around 10,000 “Baby Boomers” are turning 65 per day, and by 2030, all “Baby Boomers” will be 65 or older. It is estimated that the total number of “Baby Boomers” is around 73 million. As a result, elder law is a field of growing importance.
Elder law is a field of legal practice that considers the issues facing both seniors and aging adults. The areas of study include estate planning, powers of attorney, guardianships, and elder abuse, but the primary focus of our firm in regards to elder law is Medicaid planning in the event long-term care is necessary. We understand that nobody plans to need long-term care, but the truth is that everyone turning 65 today has nearly a 70% chance of needing long-term care at some point during their life.
The way our firm views Medicaid planning in regards to long-term care is simple—in the event you need long-term care, would you rather give your money to a long-term care facility, or would you rather protect your assets for yourself, your spouse, your children, and your beneficiaries? We think the question is an easy one to answer.
The best way to protect assets in the event you need long-term care is through proper preplanning. The best time to preplan varies from person to person, but the general rule of thumb is to begin considering preplanning once you retire. Medicaid presently has a five-year lookback period where the state and federal government are counting on you not to plan five years in advance. Presently, if you properly preplan five years in advance, you can protect virtually all your assets!
Nonetheless, we understand that many persons do not worry about preserving assets until they are private paying for long-term care costs. In Arkansas a semi-private long-term care facility charges about $200 per day, or around $6,000 per month. It generally only takes families a month or two of paying this expense before they start looking for means to protect their loved one’s assets, which is where a good elder law attorney comes in. In these crisis situations, we can generally help clients save around half of their assets, though we can and do often do much better, depending on the circumstances.
If you have a loved one who needs to preplan, is about to enter a nursing home, has entered a nursing home on rehabilitation, or is paying out of pocket for long-term care, please give us a call so we can discuss the ways we can help your loved one protect their assets.
 2020 Census Will Help Policymakers Prepare for the Incoming Wave of Aging Boomers. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/12/by-2030-all-baby-boomers-will-be-age-65-or-older.html.
 How Much Care Will You Need? Retrieved from https://longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics/how-much-care-will-you-need.html.