Long-Term Care Planning

The cost for long term care provided either in the home or at a facility often exceeds $50,000 per year. To lessen financial and emotional stress, we can help you to maximize private assets, increase access to public benefits, and ultimately enhance quality of life for everyone involved. Many families that need help protecting a loved one’s assets also need help finding and coordinating care. The Care Coordinator will assess and advocate a care plan from Strohschein Law Group to address all of these issues, on an as needed basis.

Long-Term Care Planning Case Studies

Family With Young Children Set Up Their Estate Plan

Strohschein Law Group was asked to assist Barbara, a veteran living in a local assisted living facility. Barbara was paying approximately $8,000 per month for care at the facility and was quickly running out of money to pay for her care. Barbara’s sons specifically wanted to keep Barbara at this facility because they believed the level of care being provided was necessary and in her best interest. The sons were looking for guidance on how to obtain the maximum benefit from the Veteran’s Administration and stretch out Barbara’s resources as much as possible to continue providing the care that she needed.

By rearranging Barbara’s assets, we were able to combine her income from Social Security and pension of $1,600 per month, with the maximum Improved Pension with Aid and Attendance from the VA in the amount of $1,644 per month, along with annuity income created from her assets to meet her monthly expenses for a five year period, which is her life expectancy. The Strohschein Law Group also developed a backup plan, in conjunction with the sons, in the event Barbara lives longer than her life expectancy. We anticipate that the proper planning will allow her to receive nearly $100,000 in veteran’s benefits and will have accomplished her goal of avoiding the nursing home throughout most of her lifetime.

Medicaid Applicant Who Was Denied Benefits

Strohschein Law Group was asked to assist Tim who was at a local nursing home following a 3 day hospital stay. Tim was in need of skilled care. The facility cost was over $5,000 per month which is typical in this area. However, Tim and his wife Donna only had $1,630 in income per month. Tim and Donna’s combined assets included the family home and less than $50,000 of cash and savings. Donna initially filed the application on her own, which was denied.

By reviewing all of the documents submitted to the Department of Human Services (DHS), we were able to sort through the three years’ worth of financial documentation and identify the issues that caused DHS to deny the original application. Through the appeals process, we were successful in getting the application approved retroactive to the original date of application.

Supportive Living Resident Needs Medicaid

Strohschein Law Group was asked to assist Karen in applying for Medicaid benefits who was a resident at a local supportive living facility. When her sons first came to visit with us, they had a Power of Attorney indicating that they could take financial steps on Karen’s behalf, although with over $100,000 in assets, Karen did not qualify for Medicaid benefits at that time. The adult children realized that without any planning, Karen would be out of funds within 2 years and they feared that a less desirable care setting would be the only option at that time.

By implementing some planning, Karen was able to avoid the bare bones Medicaid benefit which allowed only $30.00 per month and extremely limited access to necessary services. Through the use of a prepaid burial plan and Pooled Trust, Strohschein Law Group was able to reorganize the total assets that Karen owned such that she would qualify for Medicaid benefits immediately. Karen was able to remain at the supportive living facility as she wished, direct her total income to the facility to be put toward the cost of the care that she required, and preserve her remaining assets for her use during her lifetime as well as sufficient funds for her burial of choice. Most importantly, Karen’s quality of life was greatly enhanced through the planning that was done, allowing her the use of her assets during her lifetime, and allowing her the choice of several appropriate facilities to call home.

Long-Term Care Questionnaire
Items Needed for Medicaid Application
Items Needed for VA Application

Care Coordinator

Initial Meeting Preparation

NOTE: The above examples are provided as a tool to begin the discussion of long term care planning and are not intended as legal advice. Do not rely upon the above examples for your own planning without the advice of an experienced elder law attorney to guide you. Medicaid and Veterans benefit laws are complicated and continue to change rapidly as benefit systems are stretched to capacity.