The monthly cost of a nursing home can easily reach or exceed $5,000 per month. Most seniors do not have monthly income that comes close to that figure. Therefore, if one does not have long term care insurance, the next source of payment is either your assets or the state’s Medicaid program.
Medicaid is meant to be the payer of last resort to provide medical coverage to the poorest among us. However, nursing home costs will quickly devour even the most modest of savings. Therefore, people will often ask,
- How do I save my home from the nursing home?
- How do I save my modest investments or savings?
- How do I keep from going broke?
- How do I leave something to my children?
Not surprisingly, the next question is: How much will planning cost me?
Estate and Medicaid planning are not inexpensive propositions when considering the goal of asset protection with an eye towards long-term care costs. An experienced elder law attorney in the Springfield area will likely charge an hourly rate for his services because each plan is specifically tailored to each person’s needs. That hourly rate can vary.
Sometimes, it is not unusual for a comprehensive plan that is designed to save assets in anticipation of nursing home care to cost as much as one month of care in the nursing home. Yes, legal costs can easily reach $5,000 to design and implement a comprehensive plan.
When hiring an attorney, be sure the attorney provides you with his hourly rate and an estimate for the services you are asking him to provide. Remember that estimates are just that – estimates because estate and Medicaid plans should be individually designed for each client’s needs. Attorneys are ethically obligated to outline the legal fees they will charge for their services and if an estimate cannot be provided, an explanation of why is always best.
Sticker shock can be avoided. Open communication with your attorney about your expectations and the attorneys’ expectations will minimize poor feelings over the cost of an estate or Medicaid plan.
Remember, Medicaid is complicated. The rules have changed at least 3 times in 2 years. Having the advice of an attorney with the expertise to guide you through the task of protecting your assets from loss to nursing home charges can be invaluable.