The practice of Elder Law addresses various needs of Elderly and Disabled individuals who are concerned that a current or future health condition may dissipate his or her assets. The cost of long-term care, whether in a nursing home, at home, or in an alternative facility, can be very expensive. Monthly rates in nursing homes in the Greater New York City and Northern New Jersey areas can be anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 per month. Home care costs are normally less expensive but can also be significant.
An Elder Law attorney is required to address the concerns of the client regarding the cost of long-term care and to devise strategies to shelter assets and income to the greatest possible extent while still allowing for the client to feel comfortable with the plan.
The strategies can vary. Some clients are most concerned with doing advanced planning as there is typical a maximum five year look back period for all types of Medicaid. In New York, there is currently no five year look back period for homecare but there is for nursing home care. In New Jersey, for any long term care services, whether in a nursing home or at home, there is typically a five year look back period.
There are situations where transfers of assets can be made without the imposition of a penalty so that despite the transfer Medicaid would still be available. For example, a transfer to a spouse or to a disabled child would not cause the imposition of a penalty wherein an individual would not be able to get Medicaid in a nursing home. However, planning in advance is almost always preferable.
Long-term care insurance is helpful but it is not always as full proof as an individual may believe and it is our job to review such policies and ensure and advise whether additional planning is required or not. For most people, long-term care insurance can be costly and many people do not opt to secure it.
The rules between New York and New Jersey are somewhat different with New York being a bit more flexible than New Jersey, especially when it comes to planning when a spouse is involved.
Below is a list of some of the matters we can assist you with in our elder law practice.