There comes a point in time for many New York residents when long-term elder care becomes a reality that needs to be faced. Many people, though, are understandably upset by the thought that, after a lifetime of careful investment and scrimping, they will see their hard-earned savings quickly depleted to pay for nursing home stays. Thankfully, options exists to help ensure that at least some of an individual’s assets can be retained by a spouse or passed on to children; these financial planning strategies are sometimes referred to as Medicaid planning.

Sometimes, people are able to anticipate that they or their spouse will need long-term care or assisted living and begin financial preparation five years or more in advance. That financial preparation, however, may involve giving up assets or at least relinquishing some control over them. For those individuals unable or unwilling to give up asset ownership, a variety of tools exist. Specialized trusts or annuities and caregiver agreements are just a few examples.

An attorney’s assistance can prove almost invaluable in navigating the complexities of these options, especially when the individual attempting to qualify for Medicaid is married. Medicaid eligibility is perplexing enough on its own, but becomes infinitely more thorny and difficult to navigate for married couples. The bright side of this is that, sometimes, that additional complexity means there are also additional options married couples can take advantage of to protect their assets.

Because the law does place financial responsibility on a spouse for the long term care of the significant other, Medicaid planning becomes even more essential at this point. A Long Island New York Medicaid planning attorney can offer assistance to prepare for a long term stay at a nursing home or assisted living facility. A lawyer with experience will work diligently to keep as many of an individual’s assets as possible intact so that a lifetime of savings isn’t quickly depleted to pay for elder care.

Source:, “Legal-Ease: Medicaid and marriage”, Lee R. Schroeder, Jan. 21, 2017