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Oklahoma Estate Attorneys, PLLC.

What Is Medicaid Planning In Oklahoma?

Medicaid planning comes in many shapes and sizes. For example, many times we are contracted to do what’s called crisis planning. Crisis planning might occur when our client is in the hospital or perhaps already in a nursing home, so we don’t have much time to work with, but there are still some things that we can do. Unfortunately, we can’t do as many things or create as comprehensive a plan that could have been created in advance. Crisis planning is undertaken when time is short, usually because someone is already receiving very intense care.

If we were to switch gears a little bit, our preferred Medicaid planning is done well in advance. We can shelter more assets and have more imaginative plans, if we help people when they are not under a great deal of personal stress and strain. We can shelter more money and can take time to create more comprehensive and detailed plans because we’re not under the same degree of time pressure. Simply put, Medicaid planning simplified is the financial plans that we create for our clients when we know that they are going to need Medicaid assistance or would like to receive Medicaid assistance in the future and don’t want to be indigent at that time.

What Are The Common Concerns Of Clients In Relation To Medicaid Planning?

The most common concern we receive relates to our clients who are in a medical or financial crisis. They often ask, “Can we do anything now, even if we’ve waited up to the last minute?” They have heard for many years that all Medicaid planning has to be done at least five years in advance. But that is not true. We can do more things if we have years to plan and work, but there are still a lot of things we can do if we know that the person is going to need long term care assistance right away. Another common question we receive is, “Should I give all of my stuff to my kids?” The answer is an absolute no. You should not be giving your stuff to your kids as a form of Medicaid planning because it is near certain to fail and probably the single worst plan that you can create.

Another question we commonly receive is, “Do I always have to lose my house in order to get Medicaid assistance?” The answer, again, is no you don’t always lose your house. However, there are times in which Medicaid liens can take a house if you do not do adequate planning. All of the concerns and questions our clients have generally involve some kind of truth wrapped around a lot of misinformation. Each Medicaid plan has to be specifically tailored for the particular person, their income and their assets. Therefore almost everyone would be well advised to ignore much of what they read on the Internet or hear at the Burger King and to see a Medicaid planning specialist so that their precise situation can be evaluated and they are not left to the mercy of people who once heard a tiny bit of good information and then imagined other facts and scenarios to go with it, ending up with a false result.

Is Medicaid Planning The Same As Asset Protection Planning?

If there is enough time before the Medicaid assistance is needed, we can use an asset protection trust as part of a Medicaid plan, which can be very helpful. Unfortunately, this is not a Medicaid plan in and of itself, and in a crisis situation, it is, generally speaking, of no use at all. So asset protection strategies do have a place in Medicaid planning, but they are not the same as Medicaid planning. You might think of it as your automobile. Just like a Medicaid plan, a car has many parts, with many different things working in different ways to help you achieve your goal. The asset protection trust can be considered the driver’s seat. It’s important, very useful and you’d hate to have to do without it, but a driver’s seat, on its own, is not going to get the job done. So while asset protection and Medicaid planning go together, they are not the same thing.

What Is The Medicaid Lookback Period? How Does It Affect Medicaid Eligibility?

The Medicaid lookback period is the length of time, prior to your application, where the Medicaid workers look through your financial transactions to determine whether you have transferred assets away for certain reasons and by certain methods, which allow Medicaid to disqualify you. I say “allow disqualification” because the best interest of the taxpayers sometimes appears to be to disqualify people in order that taxpayers not have to provide assistance. Some workers take that to the extreme. Fortunately, most Medicaid workers are reasonable and decent people who will consider each case individually. The way that the lookback period applies is that if the Medicaid worker finds an uncompensated transfer or a partially compensated transfer, the person who needs Medicaid assistance will be ineligible for Medicaid assistance. They will be disqualified for Medicaid assistance because of the improper transfer. That is the reason that all of your Medicaid plans should be monitored and created by attorneys who follow the Medicaid law and changes to it. There are thousands of Medicaid rules and a thousand more exceptions to those rules. Many of those rules deal with the Medicaid lookback period and the asset transfer rules. Generally speaking, the Medicaid lookback period is 60 months, and it affects Medicaid eligibility in that an improper transfer, during those 60 months, can make the patient ineligible for Medicaid assistance.

What Sets Your Firm Apart In Handling Medicaid Planning Issues?

There are two things that set us apart in handling Medicaid planning issues. The first is the focus of our law firm on assisting people who generally do not consider themselves wealthy at all. We try to protect the middle class from the ravages of lawsuits and long term care. We have recognized that multi-millionaires, who have more than $11 million, already have a multitude of opportunities to protect their assets and to protect themselves from long-term care. But for a lifetime, the middle class has had no one with their best interest at heart, no one who is willing to study Medicaid and to take care of those who do not have as much money. Our focus is to provide the level of estate planning that used to only be available to the wealthy to the middle class and to those who have saved a little money for their old age and don’t want it wasted.

The second thing that sets us apart is that we spend weeks and weeks every year studying Medicaid, not just reading at our desk but going to classes and training under the best in the business to assure that we know as much as possible about the law. Medicaid is complex, it is time consuming, and it can be extraordinarily frustrating. We spend much more time studying Medicaid than the law anticipates is needed because we have learned that we can do a better job when we know more. So we spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money to know more about helping our clients and protecting them from predators and creditors, including Medicaid.

For more information on Medicaid Planning In Oklahoma, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 880-8960 today.

Terrell Monks, Esq.

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(405) 880-8960

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