Elder Law

Our firm assists clients in evaluating the options available for long term care support and services including home care, assisted living, nursing homes, and retirement communities. We will also help you understand the public benefit programs, including Medicaid, Veterans Administration and state based programs that may help in paying for care, advise you of the planning options available for asset protection and assist you in accessing the benefits.

Medicaid Long Term Care
Our firm will advise you on how to obtain Medicaid Long Term Care benefits to pay for nursing home care. The Medicaid Long Term Care program is a Federal/State program that has stringent eligibility rules. In order to obtain benefits individuals must meet three eligibility tests: technical, medical, and financial. Applications are made to the local Department of Social Services which is under the Maryland Department of Human Resources, but the policy is made by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Our attorneys are experienced in developing plans to preserve the maximum amount of assets for individuals, spouses, family members and persons with disabilities and obtain Medicaid benefits. We will assist you in implementing the plan and represent you in making the application for benefits as well as provide advice and guidance throughout the process.

Medicaid Waivers for Home and Community Based Services
Maryland has several Medicaid Waiver programs that may assist in paying for community based care at home or in assisted living. Applications are made with different local agencies depending the program for which you are applying. The policy is made by the Maryland Department of Mental Hygiene. Our attorneys will advise you of the programs that may be available in your case, help you understand the eligibility rules and assist you in applying for benefits.

Asset Protection
Our firm will work with you to develop an asset protection plan that may enable you to preserve your assets and obtain the care you may need now or in the future. Our attorneys will gather information regarding your health care needs, family, income and assets to develop a plan specific to your needs. If Medicaid benefits may be needed, we will review the program rules as they apply to your specific situation including the impact of any gifts made during the look back period and discuss the pros and cons of different planning options.

Our attorneys can review different asset protection tools and evaluate whether they may be of assistance in your case. It is important to understand that every situation is different. Potential planning options may include:

  • implementing a gifting program
  • purchasing an immediate payment annuity
  • transferring assets to a disabled child
  • placing assets in a special needs trust
  • personal care contracts
  • promissory notes
  • retitling assets
  • disinheriting an ill spouse
  • paying privately for care
  • purchasing long term care insurance
  • moving to a continuing care retirement community

Our focus is to ensure that you get the care that you need while preserving your assets to the extent possible. There may be tax consequences associated with some of the planning recommendations. Our attorneys will review this with you and may recommend that you consult with a CPA to assist you in assessing the tax consequences of liquidating and/or retitling assets. We will also assist you in working with your professional advisors.

Once you have chosen a course of action, we will help you implement the plan. Our attorneys will assist by preparing the appropriate legal documents. We will guide you through the Medicaid spend down, prepare and submit the Medicaid application and represent you before the Department of Social Services. If you purchase long term care insurance we will provide you with referrals for long term care insurance agents, recommend certain policy provisions and review the policy terms with you. If you plan on moving to a continuing care retirement community, we will assist you in the application to the community, review the contract terms with you and provide advice on other issues that may arise with your application to or stay at the community.

Long Term Care Insurance
Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) is a valuable asset preservation tool and the new LTCI partnership policies allow for increased asset protection under the Medicaid Long Term Care Program. LTCI provides coverage for individuals with chronic illnesses or disabilities who need assistance with activities of daily living, assisted living or nursing home care. Our firm will review your circumstances, advise you regarding this option, and provide referrals for long term care insurance agents.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Retirement Communities provide independent living and long term care services in one setting. Some communities can also help protect your assets if long term care is needed. Our attorneys will assist you in understanding how these communities work, review the contract(s) with you and advise you on other matters relating to your application to and stay at the community.

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