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Orange City Estate Planning Blog

Devils, Details, and Deadlines: Calculating the Penalty Period

If you can’t prove you didn’t make a transfer to get on Medicaid, that transfer becomes a disallowed transfer. And that’s bad because a disallowed transfer means a penalty period will be imposed, delaying the time you are allowed to receive Medicaid coverage for the nursing home. The real question becomes: how do you calculate the penalty period? [Read More]

The length of the penalty period depends on the value of the assets transferred.

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Watch Your Language: Penalty Period

A transfer occurs anytime you sell, trade, or give away money or property. Sometimes a transfer is for fair value, such as when you trade in your car or buy groceries. Sometimes, though, you make a transfer without expecting anything in return – like a birthday or Christmas gift. This is called a disallowed transfer, and it means you will not be eligible for Medicaid for a certain period of time called the penalty period. [Read More]

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Watch Your Language: Transfer

Seems obvious, right? In daily life, a transfer happens when property changes hands. You can transfer money between bank accounts or transfer germs between school children. In grilling and smoking, “transfer” means removing food from the grill or smoker. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple in the Medicaid world. [Read More]

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The Planning Effect

Sitting bedside with her husband after his stroke, Jane is talking with the discharge planner for the local hospital. After discussing the level of care John will need, Jane and the planner have decided that the nursing home connected with the hospital is the only viable option for John’s needs. Now Jane needs to visit the nursing home and figure out how she will pay for John’s care. [Read More]

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The Biggest Mistake You Make Before Turning 65

We are about to experience – some say we’re already experiencing – the biggest workforce shift from full time work to retirement in United States history. If you’re a Baby Boomer, you are a part of this generational transition. If you can see retirement on the horizon, then I have a warning for you: there’s a train following close behind retirement that you absolutely must plan for: nursing home care. [Read More]

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The Medicaid Planning Hoax: 3 Myths

Nursing homes are incentivized by the state to perpetuate the hoax because the daily nursing home rate paid by the state is lower than the private pay rate. Lawyers who don’t know anything about the Medicaid regulations are telling people they have no options for planning for Medicaid eligibility. How do you overcome misinformation or a lack of information? You get educated. Here are three myths, rooted in the Medicaid Planning Hoax, that are all wet. [Read More]

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Ask the Elder Law Lawyer: How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement?

If you’re like 70% of people in the US who have a retirement plan, you still haven’t worked with a professional such as an elder law attorney in Northwest Iowa in order to determine how much money you really need to save. A recent study found that only about 30% of this group has actually sat down with a professional to come up with a realistic number. [Read More]

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High Five: The Zen Guide to Planning for a Nursing Home Stay

If you’re dealing with a nursing home, it will quickly become clear that the options for paying the care bill are dizzying. Paying out of pocket is cost prohibitive. Long-term care insurance is probably not workable. For many, that leaves Medicaid, but those rules are spread over hundreds of pages of federal and state statutes, regulations, and policy manuals. What you need is an oasis from the stress, not the exponentially increasing stress that comes from trying to make sense of all those rules. Don’t despair. You can achieve calm in this whirlwind. Follow these five steps and you’ll soon find that the zen of nursing home planning is easily reached. [Read More]

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The Shocking Truth About Iowa Estate Recovery

Many people believe that they’ve protected their house/retirement/savings by adding a child to the title or creating a life estate. If you’re planning ahead for the cost of your long-term care, the nursing home’s not the one you need to worry about. It’s not Medicaid, either. Not really. The monster in the closet, the creature under the bed is the state Estate Recovery Program. For many people – including most lawyers – Estate Recovery is something straight out of their financial nightmares. [Read More]

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