FAQs About Medicaid Planning

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Frequently Asked Questions

The team from Rutkowski Law Firm: Asset Protection & Estate Planning provides answers to some of our most popular questions.

1. Should I consider funding any motorized vehicles in my Trust?

a. Make a list of all personal (not business) vehicles to determine if the current $60,000 (2022) threshold for vehicles set by the Secretary of State is met. Include the type of vehicle, owner(s) and current total $ value. Types might include car, SUV, ORV, RV, trailer, etc. Do this same exercise in a separate list for your watercraft. That threshold is separate and set at $100,000 (2022). If the total $ value is over either threshold, then you might want to consider placing the asset into trust.

2. If married, does it matter which name the vehicle is in?

a. It does not necessarily matter whose name the vehicle title is in if the total $ value of all vehicles for that person are under the threshold mentioned above. If both spouses are listed on the title, the threshold only becomes a problem at the passing of the second spouse.

3. Does it matter what kind of Trust I have?

a. To avoid transfer issues and probate at the time of your death, it does not matter what kind of Trust that you have. However, if you are concerned about asset protection for your vehicles, you should speak to your attorney regarding your estate plan.

4. How do I fund the vehicles?

a. You will need to set up an appointment at your local Secretary of State branch. You should bring with you the current title to the vehicle and the Certificate of Trust for the trust that you want to retitle the vehicle to.

5. Do I need to notify my Auto Insurance agent of these funding changes?

a. Yes, just as we do for Homeowner’s policies during funding. Once the vehicle has been retitled, and new title is in hand, you will need to contact your auto insurance company to have the trust added as an additional insured.

6. Does Rutkowski Law Firm need to know, or can I do this myself?

a. RLF does not need to know about the retitling of your vehicle. However, it would be very beneficial to keep your new title either with your Estate Plan or where your Successor Trustee knows where to find it. They will need it should something happen to you.

Estate Planning Law Firm Serving Bloomfield Hills, Kalamazoo, Rochester, Sterling Heights & Macomb, MI

FAQs About Medicaid Planning

Health and wellness become a primary concern as you or your loved ones grow old. With rising medical and long-term care costs, Medicaid coverage can help lift a huge burden off your shoulders. But before you can enjoy the benefits of Medicaid, you must apply for the program. That is where Medicaid planning comes in.

What is Medicaid planning?
Medicaid planning helps you prepare for your future. Ideally, you should start Medicaid planning well before you need its benefits, including nursing home care.
Why should I bother with Medicaid planning?
The importance of Medicaid planning might not be apparent, especially when you’re still young and enjoying good health. However, planning for long-term elderly care now will save you significant emotional and financial stress down the road.

Without Medicaid coverage, you could pay more than $100,000 in nursing home care costs yearly, in addition to medical treatments and possible emergency care. All these bills can quickly pile up, draining you of your hard-earned assets. You can avoid this harrowing situation with Medicaid planning.
Do I need a Medicaid planner to apply and qualify?

You do not need a Medicaid planner to apply for coverage; you can apply for the program yourself. However, you might find that the process is much more complex than anticipated.

Before you receive approval for Medicaid coverage, you must fulfill many requirements and limitations. Furthermore, Medicaid rules and guidelines continue to evolve, making it challenging to keep up with the latest developments.

With a Medicaid planner, you have a knowledgeable and trustworthy professional to assist you with the application process, ensuring a smoother, more efficient experience. Your Medicaid planner will help you prepare the necessary documents and even anticipate potential problems in your application and resolve them.

Who are Medicaid planners?
Professional Medicaid planners assist individuals in applying for Medicaid benefits and coverage. Some public officers provide free Medicaid planning services but cannot accommodate everyone. Fortunately, some financial planners and lawyers offer Medicaid planning.
What are my first steps with Medicaid planning?
Your Medicaid planner will assess your situation first to ensure a seamless application process. It is crucial to identify who needs Medicaid planning in the family and what type of coverage because the requirements and eligibility will differ based on certain conditions.

For example, if only one spouse needs long-term elderly care and the other will continue staying in the family home, the home will be excluded as an asset. In this case, spousal impoverishment rules would also apply, giving the healthy spouse an income allowance.

Your Medicaid planner will also assess your income and assets. Since Medicaid has stringent income and asset limitations rules, the Medicaid planner will discuss the best strategies to protect your valuable assets.

Your planner might also discuss how you can qualify for a Medicaid spend-down program if your total income exceeds the limit. In Michigan, this program is also called the “Medically Needy Pathway.”

A Medicaid planner can also discuss other options available in the state. These include the Home Help Program and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

Medicaid planning would differ for each individual. Hence, different steps and strategies might apply to you or your loved one.

What assets count under the Medicaid program?

Countable assets in the Medicaid program include cash, stocks, bonds, and real estate properties. However, a residential home does not count as a real estate asset. Cars and personal valuables like jewelry are also excluded.

The asset limit in Michigan is $2,000 for single individuals, while married couples have a combined asset limit of $3,000. If you think your total assets have gone over the limit, a Medicaid planner can help.

How do I get started with Medicaid planning?

It’s best to start Medicaid planning while you or your loved ones are still healthy. That way, you’ll have more time to prepare and comply with the requirements and documentation needed during the application. You will also be aware of your eligibility for particular programs.

Waiting until you or your loved one needs nursing home care will only put your assets at risk. Medical and long-term care costs can quickly rack up, and you might have to dispose or liquidate some assets to satisfy the bills.

If you have more questions regarding Medicaid planning or want to have your case reviewed by one of our attorneys, call the Rutkowski Law Firm at (248) 970-1947 to schedule a free virtual consultation.

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Describe Your Situation,
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Call (248) 792-9193 or fill out the short form below. We will usually respond within 1 business day but often do so the same day. Don’t hesitate, your questions are welcome.
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Ask A Question,
Describe Your Situation,
Request A Consultation

Call (248) 792-9193 or fill out the short form below. We will usually respond within 1 business day but often do so the same day. Don’t hesitate, your questions are welcome.
* Required Fields
Your Information Is Safe With Us

We respect your privacy. The information you provide will be used to answer your questions or to schedule an appointment if requested.

Schedule Your Virtual Consultation - Click to Call (248) 792-9193

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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