New Jersey  |  Elder Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 8/07/13, 8:26 am

Are all attorneys who do estate law and elder law qualified to handle Medicaid planning/spending down - particularly when the couple is elderly - one in nursing home now - the finances were never properly arranged and there is over $ 1, 000, 000. in assets and cash?

A couple I know is in this situation and their children had the wife hire "senior planners" for $ 7, 500.00 who sold themselves as "the Medicaid Experts" yet now say it's unusual to deal w/ this much cash/assets and suggested she hire an Estate attorney who specializes in these Medicaid issues - one of their reps says she cannot buy her son's house - he and family will continue to live there - one "senior planner" said "absolutely not" as it would be considered a "gift" to her son and would disqualify her from Medicaid. Another same firm "specialist" consulted w/ several of her supervisors and they said not sure and to hire estate lawyer who specializes with Medicaid planning.

Now her daughter and husband hired 2 lawyers, said one is estate lawyer, not sure about other, and said she CAN buy her son's house - he and family continue to live there - and still qualify. The wife is completely confused, and despite their best intentions, her children don't really know what they are doing and the wealthy daughter is handling everything. I am good friend of family and would like to be sure mother's best interests are really being served in the long run but husband of daughter has ordered I not be told anything (I am caring for parents and mother WANTS me to know so finally someone can explain whatIis going on).

So that's why I need to know if the Medicaid is truly a specialized field of legal practice for this situation, not just "regular" elder or estate law.

Thanks for a response.

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