Institutionalized long-term care for seniors such as is provided by Assisted Living Facilities and Skilled Nursing Facilities (often called nursing homes) can be prohibitively expensive, costing $10,000 – $12,000 per month.  Most people cannot afford this.  Medicaid may pay for all or some of these expenses, but a person must qualify for Medicaid by meeting certain tests including level of care needed, the income tests, and the asset tests.  A senior that meets the level of care test may not have more than $2,000 in countable assets and no more than $2,349 in monthly income.    A properly drafted and properly funded Qualified Income Trust will be required for qualification for a person who earns more than the income limit.  Transferring assets to another person or persons within five-years of filing the application may lead to the imposition of a penalty.  However, there are certain tools allowed in the state of Florida which allow proper transfer of assets under specific circumstances. 

Careful planning and the use of certain permissible tools will allow the individual to qualify for Medicaid while preserving assets.  There are many pitfalls and missteps that are easy to make, and an experienced elder law attorney should be consulted to ensure avoidance of these mistakes.  Kruse Law, P.A. will guide you through this intricately complicated process.

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