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Top 10 Questions on Senior Minds

1. I am applying for Nursing Home Medicaid for my husband. Will the state take my home?
No, your spouse can transfer the house to you to remove it from consideration for estate recovery.

2. How can I live on $1200.00 a month? Doesn’t Medicaid take all my husband’s income?
The community spouse’s monthly income is completely protected from Medicaid. If your gross monthly income is less than $2841.00, you can keep a portion of your husband’s monthly income to bring your total monthly income to $2841.00.

3. Can I sell my house if my husband is on Medicaid?
Absolutely! During the Medicaid process you should have transferred your home out of the Medicaid recipient’s name and into only yours. You are now free to sell your property as needed.

4. My parents are divorced. Can my mother still get VA benefits?
Unfortunately, the Aid & Attendance benefit eligibility ends at divorce.

5. My mother’s will is 20 years old. Is it still valid?
Any important legal document should be updated or reviewed every ten years or when there is a change in your circumstances (death, marriage, birth, divorce, change in state of residence, etc.). For a will to be valid in Georgia it needs to be signed by the testator and two witnesses. An important part of a will is a self-proving affidavit signed by the witnesses and notary. The self-proving affidavit streamlines the probate process both in terms of time and costs involved.

6. My parents’ GDPOA is from Iowa. Is it valid in Georgia?
Perhaps. You should schedule an appointment with an attorney in Georgia to review your documents to determine if they comply with Georgia statutes. The laws regarding Wills, Trusts and other Estate Planning Documents vary from state to state and documents valid in Iowa may not be valid in Georgia.

7. Does an attorney have to draft a QIT – Qualified Income Trust or Miller Trust?
The Qualified Income Trust template does call for an attorney’s signature and bar number. It is extremely beneficial to sit down with an attorney to learn how to use the trust and the checking account associated with this trust. Medicaid has many rules and requirements connected with the checking account and there are often stumbling blocks in the approval process.

8. Is my mother competent to sign a Financial Power of Attorney?
This is best answered with an example…. My mother has dementia, Alzheimer’s-like. She is five years into the disease and is considered to have moderate dementia. All that said, she is completely competent to articulate to anyone out there that she chooses her husband to handle her financial affairs. Bottom line is that if she has not been determined incompetent by a court of law (i.e., under Guardianship or Conservatorship) then we look to determine whether she has the capacity to express her wishes.

9. Why should I get an attorney to draft my legal documents? Can’t I just download them from the Internet?
This question always makes me chuckle. Downloaded Powers of Attorney are usually the biggest source of headaches for our clients and their adult children. These two-page documents often do not address the powers the family needs to conduct their financial business. There are some tasks that are best completed by experienced professionals.

10. What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?
The major difference between the two programs is the requirements to qualify for the benefits.
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for persons who earn Social Security retirement benefits and are 65 years of age or older. Medicare also covers individuals of any age who have end-stage renal (kidney) disease and need dialysis or kidney transplants. It also covers people approved for Social Security Disability.
Medicaid is a jointly funded, federal-state health insurance program for low-income and needy people. It covers children, the aged including blind, and/or disabled and other people who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments.

 

(Source: Hurley Elder Care Law. Written by Louise Morris.)