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 ‘Promissory Note/Gifting’ 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 promissory note/gifting 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.

Medicaid New York Regional Rates

CENTRAL NEW YORK $11,328
NORTH METROPOLITAN $13, 399
NORTHEASTERN $12,560
NEW YORK CITY $13,415
LONG ISLAND $14,012
WESTERN $11, 884
ROCHESTER $13,376

SOURCE: https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/publications/docs/gis/21ma26.pdf

New York Medicaid Qualification Income & Resource Levels 2022

FAMILY SIZE INCOME LEVEL FOR SINGLE PEOPLE & COUPLES W/ CHILDREN NET INCOME FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE: BLIND, DISABLED OR AGE 65+ RESOURCE LEVEL (INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BLIND, DISABLED OR AGE 65+ ONLY)
1 ANNUAL: $18,755

MONTHLY: $1,563

ANNUAL: $11,208

MONTHLY: $934

$16,800
2 ANNUAL: $25,268

MONTHLY: $2,156

ANNUAL: $16,404

MONTHLY: $1,367

$24,600
FAMILY SIZE 1 INCOME LEVEL FOR SINGLE PEOPLE & COUPLES W/ CHILDREN ANNUAL: $18,755

MONTHLY: $1,563

NET INCOME FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE: BLIND, DISABLED OR AGE 65+ ANNUAL: $11,208

MONTHLY: $934

RESOURCE LEVEL (INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BLIND, DISABLED OR AGE 65+ ONLY) $16,800
FAMILY SIZE 2 INCOME LEVEL FOR SINGLE PEOPLE & COUPLES W/ CHILDREN ANNUAL: $25,268

MONTHLY: $2,156

NET INCOME FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE: BLIND, DISABLED OR AGE 65+ ANNUAL: $16,404

MONTHLY: $1,367

RESOURCE LEVEL (INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BLIND, DISABLED OR AGE 65+ ONLY) $24,600

*Effective January 1, 2022

Income and Resource Levels are subject to yearly adjustments.

You may also own a home, a car, and personal property and still be eligible. The income and resources (if applicable) of legally responsible relatives in the household will also be counted.

SOURCE: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/ochia/downloads/pdf/all_populations_medicaid.pdf