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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Q: How do I plan for nursing home care?

New York and New Jersey elder law attorneys help the elderly and their adult children plan for how their golden years will be spent.

While most people hope to avoid ending up in a nursing home, that is not always possible. So comprehensive estate planning should address the possibility. And knowing how to choose the best nursing home for you or your loved one is important—as the impact of coronavirus running rampant in many facilities has clearly illustrated.

Most people are aware of the exorbitant price of nursing home care. Without proper Medicaid planning, private paying for nursing home care can rapidly wipe out the lifetime savings of the average person. This can leave their surviving spouse and children, if any, financially vulnerable or impoverished. Properly transferring the way your assets are held—for example, using trusts– may allow you to meet the income and assets restrictions for Medicaid purposes.

When is the best time to do Medicaid planning?

Ideally, the time to do Medicaid planning is years in advance of when long-term care is needed. Of course, no one knows when that moment may come– as it is not only the elderly who fall victim to disabling diseases, injuries, and accidents. Your attorney will consider a combination of your age, health, wealth, type of work, and other personal factors—when helping you decide on Medicaid planning.

Sheltering assets in advance for the benefit of your loved ones and removing them from the reach of a nursing home may help you qualify for Medicaid if and when the need arises. So, it’s important to see a skilled estate planning attorney to get your affairs in order and provide you with tips on how to decide on the right nursing home.

The COVID–19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the elderly residents in many nursing homes in hotspots like New York and New Jersey. Going forward, research into a potential nursing home’s COVID-19 response and emergency preparedness plans should be factored into the decision.

If you need assistance with an initial estate plan, or would like to modify an existing one, the estate planning attorneys at Merlino & Gonzalez can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our offices in Staten Island, New York and East Brunswick, New Jersey, we represent clients in both states in all aspects of elder law, estate planning and estate administration.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.