The information discussed and/or provided is not intended as legal advice and persons should not rely on anything posted on this blog. Please also be advised that no attorney-client relationship is established until the firm has been contacted by telephone and an appointment made to discuss your situation with us.

Planning for Medicaid Nursing Home Coverage

November 13, 2019

A stay in a nursing home can drain the financial resources of all but the wealthiest households. Approximately half of people who reach the age of 65 will need some form of long term care during their lifetimes.

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Difference Between a Living Will and a Health Care Power of Attorney

October 10, 2019

A living will and a health care power of attorney are related documents that provide instructions on how to approach medical care once a person has become incapacitated.

A living will, also known as an advance directive, provides instructions on what to do in certain situations. Typical areas covered by a living will include whether or not to receive CPR, go on various forms of life support, or donate one’s organs. Ultimately, a living will can be as detailed as an individual wants it to be. The instructions in the living will only become operative once an individual becomes incapacitated.

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Wills, Living Trusts, and Probate

October 3, 2019

The probate process can take a significant amount of time and money before any inheritances get distributed to a person’s beneficiaries. Additionally, probate filings, including wills, become part of the public record that anyone can access. As a result, many people wish to minimize or avoid the probate process as much as possible.

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Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage

September 25, 2019

When choosing specific Medicare plans, individuals face the broad choice between traditional Medicare, traditional Medicare with a Medigap plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan.

Traditional Medicare covers hospital care, doctors visits, and prescription drugs through Medicare Parts A, B, and D, respectively. Enrollees in traditional Medicare can use any doctor, clinic, or hospital that accepts Medicare without needing a referral. However, base Medicare still has a number of gaps that can impose significant out of pocket expenses on individuals. Users of traditional Medicare still have to pay premiums, deductibles, and copayments. If an individual requires significant medical care, the copayments could easily amount to tens of thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses. There is no cap on out of pocket expenses under base Medicare. Traditional Medicare also does not cover vision or dental care.

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What is a Guardian ad Litem?

September 18, 2019

A guardian ad litem is a guardian that is appointed by a court to serve as a temporary guardian during the duration of a court proceeding. The phrase guardian “ad litem” translates from Latin to guardian “for the suit” in English.

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Reaching Adulthood and SSI

August 22, 2019

For individuals with disabilities, and their parents and guardians, reaching adulthood presents a period of transition in terms of government benefits.

Social Security reevaluates a person’s disability when they turn eighteen. The disability standards to qualify for SSI do differ for adults and children. What qualified as disabled for a child may not qualify as disabled for an adult. As a result, some individuals who received SSI as a child may not qualify for SSI as an adult. Concerned individuals should meet with an attorney experienced in Social Security disability applications for more guidance.

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Nursing Home Ratings and Medicaid Beds

August 14, 2019

Choosing a nursing home is an important decision that can greatly affect the quality of life for a person in need. Different facilities have different approaches and generally there is no such thing as a singular, perfect nursing home that is the best choice for everyone.

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Gifts to People with Special Needs

July 31, 2019

Family members or friends with someone who has special needs may feel a desire to provide them with financial assistance. However, if the person with special needs is on SSI, Medicaid, or other need-based government programs, that assistance, unless properly structured, could reduce, or even eliminate, a special needs individual’s benefits.

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Marriage and Durable Powers of Attorney

July 22, 2019

In case a spouse becomes incapacitated, the other spouse may need to conduct certain transactions on behalf of the incapacitated spouse to either obtain care or avoid financial penalties. However, status as a spouse does not automatically grant this ability.

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Gifts and the Medicaid Look Back Period

July 10, 2019

When applying for Medicaid nursing home coverage, applicants must meet certain financial requirements. In order to prevent fraud, Medicaid not only looks at an applicant’s current financial situation, but they also look back at the applicant’s financial transactions over the previous five years. Medicaid specifically adds back any below market transfers and adds them back to the applicant’s current financial state to see if they still meet the very restrictive asset limits for Medicaid eligibility.

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Martha C. Brown & Associates, LLC assist clients with Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County and the surrounding areas including Arnold, Ballwin, Barnhart, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Black Jack, Bonne Terre, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Cedar Hill, Chesterfield, Clayton, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Crystal City, Des Peres, DeSoto, Ellisville, Farmington, Fenton, Festus, Ferguson, Florissant, Fredericktown, Frontenac, Hazelwood, Herculaneum, High Ridge, Hillsboro, House Springs, Imperial, Kirkwood, Ladue, Lake St. Louis, Manchester, Maplewood, Maryland Heights, Mehlville, Normandy, O'Fallon, Olivette, Pacific, Pevely, Richmond Heights, St. Ann, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Peters, Ste. Genevieve, Sunset Hills, Town & Country, University City, Union, Valley Park, Washington, Webster Groves, Wentzville , Wildwood.