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Southwest, WA, Medicaid Planning Lawyer

Pettis Webber Pacific P.S. helps people qualify and apply for Medicaid to pay for long-term care.

Medicaid Planning in Vancouver, WA

Medicaid qualification is multi-faceted and fraught with snags. Rarely is what’s said “out there” the full story. People hear, “Medicaid let’s you have a house,” and, “You can only have $2000,” and, “You must spend down,” or “You’ll have to divorce.” Be careful. Most who say such things are big-hearted and wanting to help. Unfortunately, Medicaid laws are vast and dense. Most with any experience in Medicaid dealings quite innocently don’t know what they don’t know. The four above statements are true, yet none are the full story. Acting on partial information about Medicaid can result in financial devastation for multiple generations. As specialists in Medicaid application planning in Vancouver, Washington, we advise with full information. We live and breathe in the Medicaid codes and the many bodies of law involved in long-term care asset protection and leveraging.

Medicaid Planning Strategies

The “full story” about Medicaid allows more possibility and protection than is usually known, even by those you would think know. It’s critical to seek guidance from those who deeply specialize. We use many strategies, some include:

  • Asset Protection Trusts
  • Gifting Exemptions
  • Personal Care Agreements
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Preservation Annuities for Medicaid
  • Medicaid Compliant Income Trusts

Special Needs Trusts

Special Needs Trusts are trusts that protect eligibility for public benefits like Medicaid and SSI. There are many types and it’s important to use the correct type. Using the wrong type can cause serious financial harm to the Medicaid recipient and his/her family and beneficiaries. These can be trusts that stand alone or can be designed inside an overall trust like a Revocable Living Trust, or inside a Will. Special Needs Trusts are some of the most powerfully protective trusts. When designed well and operating properly they function to withstand government rules that otherwise cause loss of assets to expensive long term care costs or loss of valuable Medicaid benefits. With the average cost of skilled long-term care in Washington at well over $125,000 per year for one person, these types of trusts can be the key to a better quality of life when care needs arise.

Medicaid Planning Asset Protection Trusts

There are many types of asset protection trusts. When using one as part of a Medicaid qualification® planning strategy it is often good to use a type that is irrevocable but has special flexibility built into how it operates. Such a trust can be used to protect real estate and preserve it to become a cash asset later without disrupting Medicaid eligibility even if sold while the trust owner is receiving Medicaid. In Washington and Oregon it can help preserve your ability to continue living at home and have Medicaid-paid care received in your home for much longer than you would otherwise be able. Such a trust, even though irrevocable, also allows you to change who is in charge of it and who benefits from it. These types of trusts are usually best used years in advance of a need to apply for Medicaid help.

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Preservation Annuities For Medicaid

These types of annuities are called “Medicaid Compliant.” They are special types of annuities that allow assets above Medicaid’s available resources limit to be converted into income for the applicant’s spouse. The income is paid out over a maximum of 5 years. These annuities are not great investments as they do not earn much. However, they can be great preservation tools, especially if close in time to submitting a Medicaid application. There are very specific rules that must be carefully complied with when employing this type of tool in a Medicaid planning strategy. It is critical to work with a Washington Medicaid planning specialist attorney AND a financial professional with great familiarity in setting up these types of annuities. We are Vancouver Washington attorney and known for Medicaid planning throughout Washington. We can carefully advise and help implement using such a tool if wise for your circumstances.

Personal Care Agreement

Personal Care Agreements are contracts that allow for payment to friends or family members providing direct care and/or supervision of a Medicaid recipient. The agreement in writing is considered proof that the payment received by the friend or family member is not a gift. Thus these agreements are vital to avoiding gifting penalties and denial of Medicaid applications. However they are not casually written contracts. There are multiple tax implications involved and terms regarding limits on payment that must be included and adhered to, or grave financial pain can result. We, as Medicaid planning attorneys, are adept at creating such contracts and we enjoy guiding people in creating them when advisable.

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