Paying for Long-Term Care

Long Term Care Elder Law Lawyer in New York

Discuss Your Options for Long-Term Care Planning With Our Legal Team Today

An estate plan is essential for many reasons, including protecting your hard-earned assets and ensuring they go to the loved ones or charities of your choice after you pass away. However, what happens to those assets if you need to move into a nursing home or another long-term care facility due to physical or mental health concerns? Long-term care is costly—the following are some average rates in different areas of New York:

  • New York City = $147,828 per year
  • Long Island = $156,636 per year
  • Northern Metropolitan = $149,136 per year
  • Northeastern Region = $128,628 per year
  • Central Region = $116,664 per year
  • Western Region = $140, 304 per year

Even spending one year in a long-term care facility can seriously reduce your savings, and paying out of pocket for years of care can leave nothing to your beneficiaries.

At Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin LLP, we know you worked hard to build your estate, and we believe that long-term care should not deplete those assets. We have many estate planning tools that we use to help clients plan in case they require long-term care planning but want to preserve their assets. Contact our office today to discuss your specific situation.

Discussing Long-Term Care Payment Options

Discuss with your attorney all possible options for long-term care payments well before you need long-term care. Some options we regularly discuss with our clients include:

  • Trust planning
  • Transfers
  • Veteran or Social Security benefits
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Private disability benefits

When you meet with our attorneys to discuss paying for long-term care, we will review any existing estate planning documents you have in place. In some situations, we may need to modify or replace certain documents to better address the possibility of long-term care. We also may draft new documents, depending on the specifics of your situation. Some estate planning documents that may help include:

  • Irrevocable asset protection trusts
  • Irrevocable income only trusts
  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts
  • Irrevocable special needs trusts (also called supplemental needs trusts)
  • Testamentary special needs trusts
  • Separate revocable living trusts for the well spouse
  • Gift deeds with reserved life-estates
  • Wills with testamentary special needs trusts
  • Durable powers of attorney for property management and personal affairs
  • Advance health care directives and health care proxies.

Many people benefit from Medicaid coverage when it comes to paying for long-term care. However, Medicaid in New York has strict income and asset restrictions to qualify. Many people think their only option is to deplete their assets and then make use of Medicaid. Fortunately, with the right planning, it is not necessary to spend all your assets before you can qualify for benefits.

In many cases, Medicaid does not allow you to simply transfer your assets to your children or other beneficiaries to allow you to qualify. The law creates a 60-month look-back period for eligibility for institutional care, which means that Medicaid will take into consideration any assets transferred within the last five years when determining your eligibility for institutional care. There is a certain exception to this restriction involving transfers directly to your spouse or to benefit a disabled child. There are other exemption for a homestead. You should plan any necessary transfers well before you suspect you may need long-term care. Our lawyers can advise you about which trusts can work to protect your assets while allowing you to qualify for Medicaid.

Medicaid eligibility can especially concern couples when one spouse requires care and the other is well enough to remain in the home. You want to ensure that the well spouse still has access to assets and ownership of the home while the other spouse can still receive home care or nursing home benefits. Our elder law lawyers regularly address this type of situation and know how to find the best solutions for each individual couple.

Some veterans may not realize that they and their spouse qualify for the Veterans Affairs Aid and Attendance, or A&A, benefit. We can review your situation and advise you to seek additional information about this. Even if you are not a veteran, your employer may provide you with private disability benefits that can help if you need extended care.

Another beneficial option is long-term care insurance coverage. These premiums can be expensive. However, the earlier you purchase coverage, the less you will pay. If you do need to move to a nursing home, this coverage can ease the financial burden on your family without depleting assets or worrying about public benefits eligibility. The sooner you look into your long-term care insurance options, the more affordable your policy will likely prove. There are even policies in New York that combine insurance benefits with Medicaid eligibility.

Do Not Wait to Discuss Long-Term Care Planning With Our Law Firm

Long-term care planning is easy to put off, as most people think they have decades before they may need full-time care, if they need it at all. Many unexpected reasons, however, may force people to move to an assisted living facility or nursing home, including:

  • Stroke
  • Injuries from falling or a car accident
  • Cancer
  • The onset of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease)

Sadly, many of these conditions can strike at a surprisingly young age. Once you need long-term care, it is more difficult to plan. Even if you are relatively young and healthy, it is not too early to make an appointment and discuss your options for paying for long-term care.

Schedule Your Consultation With Our New York Elder Law Attorneys

The New York elder law firm of Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin LLP helps many clients figure out how to pay for long-term care without spending their life savings. Contact us online or call (212) 387-8400 to discuss any aspect of estate planning today.