St. Louis Medicaid Estate Planning Lawyer
Medicaid estate planning refers to protecting one’s assets and property from being used to pay for long-term care if the individual becomes eligible for Medicaid. This can include strategies such as gifting assets to family members, creating trusts, and transferring property ownership. The goal of Medicaid estate planning is to preserve as much of the individual’s assets as possible for their beneficiaries while still allowing them to qualify for Medicaid assistance if and when it becomes necessary. This process involves a lot of paperwork, and there are many laws to navigate to receive these benefits. To protect one’s assets, it is best to consult with a St. Louis Medicaid estate planning attorney for expert legal advice.
At Stange Law Firm, our experienced estate planning attorneys provide legal advice and representation that can help you protect your assets from high Medicaid costs. We understand the complexities of estate planning and Medicaid eligibility requirements. Our expertise can help you create an estate plan that meets your specific needs and goals. We also provide legal representation for guardianship and conservatorship matters, probate and estate administration, and other related matters. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a St. Louis Medicaid estate planning lawyer and get the advice you need to protect your assets.
Understanding St. Louis Medicaid Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must meet certain financial and medical eligibility criteria to qualify for Medicaid. These criteria are set by the government and vary from state to state, so it is crucial to understand the specific eligibility requirements of Missouri. In general, Medicaid in St. Louis assists individuals with limited income and resources who are over 65, blind, disabled, or have a dependent child in their care. Individuals must have limited income and resources to qualify for long-term care planning assistance. This means that their income must be below a certain threshold that signifies financial need. Additionally, for Medicaid to cover their care costs, individuals must not own more than a certain amount of assets or property. Working directly with a St. Louis Medicaid estate planning attorney can help you evaluate your assets and determine what, if any, steps you need to take to qualify for Medicaid assistance.
Creating an Estate Plan That Meets Your Needs
Creating an estate plan that meets your needs involves several steps. These ensure that your assets are protected and that your wishes are carried out:
- Assess Your Current Situation: Before creating an estate plan, it is important to take inventory of your assets, debts, and beneficiaries. This will help you understand what you need to plan for and what your priorities are.
- Determine Your Goals: Once you clearly understand your current situation, you can start setting your goals for your estate plan. These may include protecting your assets, providing for your loved ones, minimizing taxes, or planning for long-term care.
- Research Your Options: There are various estate planning tools and strategies to consider, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives. You should research each option’s pros and cons and determine which are best suited to meet your goals.
- Consult a St. Louis Elder Law Attorney: Estate planning can be complex and should be done with the assistance of a Medicaid planning attorney who specializes in the field. An elder law attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your estate plan is properly executed.
- Create Your Estate Plan: With the help of your attorney, you can create an estate plan that reflects your goals and priorities. This may involve drafting a will, setting up trusts, creating powers of attorney, and creating health care directives.
- Review and Update Your Estate Plan: Your estate plan is not a one-time event; it is something you should review and update regularly. You should review your estate plan every few years or whenever you experience a significant life change, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or the purchase of a new property.
- Consider Medicaid Estate Planning: If you have concerns about long-term care and the cost of care, it is worth looking into Medicaid estate planning. Medicaid estate planning allows you to protect your assets and qualify for coverage in the future.
- Finalize and Implement Your Estate Plan: Once your estate plan is complete, you should finalize and implement it. This may involve executing the documents and funding any established trusts.
This is a general outline that may vary depending on the laws and regulations of your state, as well as your personal circumstances. It is important to understand that each case is unique and to take advice from an estate planning attorney. They can tailor your plan to suit your needs.
Common Misconceptions About Medicaid Eligibility
There are several common misconceptions about Medicaid eligibility that can lead to confusion and mistakes when applying for Medicaid coverage. Some of these misconceptions include:
- You must be impoverished to qualify for Medicaid: While Medicaid is a needs-based program, individuals do not need to be completely impoverished to qualify. Income and asset limits determine eligibility, and individuals may still qualify even if they have some assets and income.
- Only low-income individuals qualify for Medicaid: While Medicaid is primarily intended for low-income individuals, specific groups such as pregnant women, children, and individuals with disabilities may be eligible regardless of their income.
- Medicaid will take all your assets: This is not true. Certain assets, such as a primary residence, personal property, and savings and retirement accounts, are protected and will not be counted towards the asset limit.
- Estate planning is only for wealthy individuals: Estate planning is not only for those with significant assets and income. Everyone needs to think about their long-term goals, even if they do not have many assets. Estate planning can help you protect your assets and plan for long-term care.
Estate planning is a complex process that requires the advice of a qualified legal professional. At Stange Law Firm, our attorneys specialize in estate planning and can help you create a plan that meets your goals. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
Greene County, St. Louis Office : 901 E. St. Louis, Suite 404, Springfield, Missouri 65806