Futterman, Lanza & Pasculli, LLP

January 2018 Archives

Medicaid planning and how it differs from Medicare in New York

A common source of uncertainty for many in New York and elsewhere is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Many individuals confuse the two, and still more wonder why Medicaid planning is even necessary, assuming without much forethought that they will be able to rely on the government program when the time comes. In fact, not only do the two programs differ greatly, but without adequate preparation, qualifying for Medicaid may come at a high cost.

No end to benefits of early estate planning in New York

A common misconception among aging New York residents is that estate plans are only for the wealthy. In fact, every family can benefit from basic estate planning for a number of reasons, and the older an individual gets, the more important it becomes to act quickly. While planning for what will happen after an individual passes away may not be pleasant to think about or discuss, delaying estate planning until it's too late is far worse for surviving family members.

Education may prove helpful before beginning Medicaid planning

With the complexities of Medicaid and the likelihood that aging New York residents will eventually need nursing home care, advisors are recommending that everyone – both seniors and their families alike –learn more about the program and its eligibility requirements. Of course, Medicaid is extremely complex, and becoming familiar with the most basic elements does not replace the guidance of a Medicaid planning attorney. However, acquiring a rudimentary understanding before consulting a lawyer may help individuals know what aspects to discuss more thoroughly during planning.

A simple will needs to include at least some basic information

As you begin to consider your estate plan, you may wonder where to start. Depending on your age, assets, parental status and other factors, the tools that may most benefit you at this time could vary. Additionally, as your life changes, you may find that updating your plan and using more tools could help you keep your wishes in order and allow you to make the most comprehensive plan possible.

Medicaid planning: What assets are exempt in New York?

There's a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to qualifying for Medicaid in New York. A number of aging individuals may be confused as to what assets they are allowed to own and still qualify for Medicaid, since, for example, many have mistakenly been informed that they cannot receive benefits if they own their own home. In reality, there are several assets a New York resident can own, as the skilled guidance of a Medicaid planning attorney in advance can ensure qualification requirements are legally met.

Estate planning discussion can open up other important topics

Residents of New York with aging parents already have a host of issues to worry about. One matter it's important not to let fall by the wayside, though, is that of estate planning and financial issues. While money matters can be an especially difficult subject to broach, it can be crucial to discuss the topic early to help avoid potential pitfalls and even possible future conflicts.

Without Medicaid planning, life savings may be quickly depleted

Unfortunately, New York residents who have spent their whole lives saving for retirement are likely to have overlooked one key aspect, but it's one that could make all the difference: planning and saving for the ever-increasing cost of long-term care. While most will need home health care at some point, or even are likely to find themselves in a nursing home, many underestimate the cost or assume that Medicare or health insurance will pay for it. This, however, is untrue, and the fact of the matter is that without proper Medicaid planning, the costs of such care will quickly drain a lifetime of savings.

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