Are you navigating retirement or caring for a senior who is? There are a number of questions that arise along the way.
These are the top 5 questions that Furman hears from his clients:
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This is a common question with no easy answer. “You can’t make money magically appear,” Furman says. Instead, he suggests that you “take a look at what your needs are and will be, what resources you have and find ways to stretch those out.”
To do this, you’ll need to consider:
Most people have a “false impression that when they apply for Medi-Cal that anything that is exempt under their application is also exempt from recovery under the Medicaid recovery statutes,” Furman says. This is not the case.
“One of the common misconceptions people have is that they confuse the wording used in Medi-Cal. Often, people confuse eligibility exemptions with recovery exemptions. If their house is exempt, and thus not counted for eligibility determination, it doesn’t mean that it is also exempt from the recovery. This confusion often leads to families having a Medi-Cal recovery lien placed on their home when they thought their home was exempt from the program,” Furman explains.
Unfortunately, your local Medi-Cal or Medicaid office cannot offer advice on how to protect assets.
However, there are legal methods to protect your house from a Medi-Cal lien but there are myriad issues to address with each strategy. Options to protect a home also vary by state, so you should consult with your elder law attorney.
*Actually, when people ask this question they often confuse the language, Furman mentions. When they say ‘living will’ they are actually referring to a ‘living trust.’ “A living will and a living trust are two different legal documents. A living will is a life directive in which you would ask someone to ‘pull the plug’. A living trust is a tool used to avoid probate,” he explains.
You can use a living trust as a tool to avoid probate, but the rules and regulations surrounding living trusts vary by state, so it’s important to talk to your attorney about your unique situation.
Yes, you can.
There are two types of trusts:
No, you aren’t.
With a traditional living trust, change of control only happens upon death or legal incapacity. “You are in control until death (the death of you and your spouse, if applicable) and the living trust is then distributed to the beneficiaries,” Furman explains. “If you are legally incompetent, the successor trustee will assume control of your trust without court involvement,” he concludes.
These elder law topics are significant, and require a discussion of your unique situation with your elder law attorney. You can reach Stuart Furman, Esq. by:
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