Helping You Protect Your Family, Your Assets And Your Legacy

Quality Legal Help For Buffalo’s Seniors

Elder law in New York is a unique, complex, and ever-changing field. While many general practitioners may claim to have knowledge of elder law, the truth is that only an elder care attorney can help you and your family best plan for the inevitable. Our Williamsville elder law attorneys proudly serve the greater Buffalo area with the most comprehensive and up-to-date elder law assistance.

Protecting Yourself With Long-Term Care Planning

As you enter into your golden years of life, your assets should be protected. Based in Western New York, our experienced lawyers can help you build a personalized asset protection strategy that shields your resources from the unexpected as you enter your later years.

Long-term care can be expensive. The high cost of care can put your loved ones at risk, drain your family’s assets, and potentially jeopardize your family home. But there are many methods that can be employed to plan for your later life care needs, including Medicaid planning, guardianships, gifting, and other strategies.

Help Applying for Medicaid

Most people need to qualify for Medicaid to pay the enormous cost of a long-term care facility. Getting approved for Medicaid starts with the application. The process is complicated and the laws around Medicaid qualification frequently change. But whether you have gone through Medicaid planning or not, our attorneys can help you. Our proven strategies give you options for qualifying.

How To Use The ‘Medicaid Planning’ Strategy

The “gift and loan strategy” is another common method for long-term care planning. Gifting is a popular method for qualifying for Medicaid, especially during crisis planning, as well as for protecting assets from creditors or other individuals who may seek access to your estate.

To explain how the Medicaid Planning strategy works, we will use an example.

We will assume that a client has come to us whose father is about to enter a nursing home. He has $300,000 in savings and would like to pass as much as possible onto his children. We will also assume that the nursing home costs $10,000 every month.

When the father enters the nursing home, he will give his children a gift of $150,000 (half his nest egg) and a loan of $150,000. This loan will be paid back with interest in payments of $10,000/month over the course of 15 months. He will then apply for Medicaid in the state of New York.

Medicaid will see the gift and refuse to pay for the first 15 months of nursing home care, assuming that those assets could have been used to pay for the parent’s care. However, they will ignore the $150,000 that was loaned, since that money will be paid back. The children will pay back the loan as promised, and this money ($10,000/month for 15 months, plus modest interest – exactly what Medicaid refused to pay) will be used to fund the first 15 months of nursing home care.

After the 15-month penalty period is up, Medicaid will pay for the rest of the father’s nursing home care while his children get to keep the $150,000 gift.

This is just one strategy available to help our New York clients who must enter a nursing home without prior planning; there are other Medicaid strategies available.

Before moving into a care facility, many seniors receive care from an adult child or other relative. A gift to your caregiver in gratitude can work against your ability to qualify for Medicaid later on due to the five-year lookback period. We can help you structure the gift using a Caregiver Agreement so that you are protected.

Establishing A Guardianship

There may come a time when you can no longer make financial or medical decisions for yourself. If you don’t have your documents in order, then a guardian will be appointed by the court. Learn more about the process by talking with us.

Paying Your Home Caregiver Without Risking Medicaid

A child caring for their aging parent is making a sacrifice out of love. Nevertheless, the parent might wish to pay their son or daughter for the hard work of being a personal care attendant. But Medicaid can see a large payment or gift during the five-year lookback period and penalize you by delaying your qualification.

A caregiver agreement can solve this problem. Our firm can help you use this document to compensate your caregiver and help you qualify for Medicaid at the same time.

It’s Never Too Late To Start

It is never too late to plan for your future health care needs even if your family assets are depleted because of expensive nursing home care. To get started, contact Ingold Law PLLC at our Williamsville location by calling 716-972-3698.

2023 Medicaid Regional Rates

The following figures represent the Department of Health’s assessment as to the average cost of nursing home care in each region. These figures are used to calculate Medicaid penalty periods for gifts and asset transfers.

Long Island (Nassau/Suffolk) $14,136
New York City (5 Boroughs) $14,142
Central (Syracuse, Broome, Cayuga, Oswego, etc.) $11,726
Northeastern (Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, etc) $12,744
Northern Metropolitan (Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, etc.) $13,906
Rochester (Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, etc.) $13,421
Western (Buffalo, Erie, Niagra, Genesee, etc.) $12,130

2023 Medicaid Resource & Income Allowances

The New York State Department of Health has issued resource and income allowances for the year 2023. All figures are effective as of January 1, 2023.

Institutional/Nursing Home Care
Applicant Resource Allowance $30,182
Community Spouse Resource Allowance $148,620
Applicant Income Allowance $50
Community Spouse Minimum Monthly
Maintenance Needs Allowance
Community Based Care (Home Care, etc.)
Applicant Resource Allowance $30,182
Applicant Income Allowance $1,677

Government Benefit Increases

As federal benefits increase this year, our Elder Law and Estate Planning attorneys are on hand to help you navigate these government programs, eligibility requirements and planning opportunities. Contact us at 631.405.4857.

2023 Social Security Benefits

8.7% increase

2023 Veteran’s Benefits

Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit:

  • Single Veteran: $2,229
  • Married Veteran: $2,642
  • Surviving Spouse: $1,567

2023 Medicare Benefits

  • Hospital Deductible: $1,600
  • Co-insurance (days 61-90): $400/day
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Co-insurance (days 21-100*): $200/day
    *if medically eligible

2023 Medicaid Benefits

Institutional Benefits:

  • Resource Allowance: $30,182
  • Income Allowance: $50
  • Community Spouse Resource Allowance: $148,620
  • Community Spouse Income Allowance: $3,715.50
  • Home Equity Limit: $1,033,000

Community/Home Care Benefits

  • Resource Allowance: $30,182
  • Income Allowance: $1,677
  • Community Spouse Resource Allowance: $148,620 (maximum)
  • Community Spouse Income Allowance: $3,715.50

Estate and Gift Taxes

  • Federal Estate Tax Exemption: $12,920,000
  • New York State Estate Tax Exemption: $6,580,000
  • Annual Gift Tax Exclusion: $17,000 (per year/per beneficiary)