Download - Elder Needs Law

Explaining - Lady Bird Deed

A Lady Bird Deed is also called an “enhanced life estate deed.” The Lady Bird Deed is a great for both (a) estate-planning (efficiently passing real estate to designated heirs upon your passing) and (b) Medicaid-planning (not counting as a gift therefore not triggering the five-year lookback period should you desire Medicaid long-term care benefits).

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Explaining - ANNUITY

Under the government’s rules for annuities, you could purchase an irrevocable annuity from an insurance company using all or a portion of your countable assets.  The policy would be purchased with a lump sum cash amount, and in return the insurance company would issue a monthly check to you consisting of principal and interest.  You can think of this as providing a loan to the insurance company.

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Explaining - DPOA Importance of an Enhanced DPOA

First, it’s important to stress that a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) is not a once-size-fits-all document. There is no such thing as a general DPOA that empowers the agent / attorney-in-fact to be able to do anything and everything. The DPOA must very specifically delineate what the agent can or cannot do. This is why canned documents found on the internet just won’t do.

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Explaining - Irrevocable 5-yr Trust


This strategy is for older adults who are healthy and do not expect to require long-term care for the next five years (for those who are expected to require long-term care in the short-term, we have other strategies to utilize).

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Explaining - Personal Services Contract

The personal service contract is a legally binding and enforceable agreement between the elder and a trusted care provider. The elder, through a personal service contract, would actually hire an individual, such as their child or a trusted friend, to become the elder’s caregiver. While we know that most of our clients’ children are not charging their parents for such services, there is no legal obligation for them to provide care.

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Explaining - Pooled Special Needs Trusts

Briefly: pooled special needs trusts are a Florida state and federally accepted tool for turning countable resources into non-countable resources so one can obtain need-based benefits (such as Medicaid) or remain eligible for need-based / means-tested benefits after a sudden influx of assets (e.g. personal injury settlement, inheritance, selling a valuable asset).

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Explaining - QIT - Qualified Income Trust - Miller Trust

In addition to requiring that Medicaid recipients own less than $2,000 in countable assets, the Medicaid program additionally requires that Medicaid recipients receive less than a certain amount in gross monthly income – this is commonly referred to as the “Income Cap.” Florida’s income cap amount changes from time to time; it is adjusted in lock-step at three times the Federal SSI benefit rate. As of January 2021, the Federal SSI benefit rate is $794.00, so Florida’s Medicaid income cap is $2,382.00.

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Explaining - QMB Program


Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (“QMB”) is one class of Medicaid, referred to as Medicare Savings Programs.  These programs exist around the country. About 7.8 Million Americans are enrolled in a QMB program according to CMS. But qualification standards can differ between states and so this info sheet is limited to Florida’s QMB Medicaid program.

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Explaining - Rental Real Estate (wo CIP)

Pursuant to Medicaid rules, any real estate owned by the applicant that is being rented to a separate entity at a rate within community standards is not counted as an available asset to the applicant.  Therefore, if the applicant purchases a home, or second home, and rents it to another individual, the assets used to purchase the home would no longer be counted against the applicant as those assets are invested and not “available.”

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Explaining - Spousal Refusal

Just Say No, or Spousal Refusal is applicable in situations where one spouse is living in a facility (either an assisted living facility or nursing home) and the other spouse resides in the community (“community spouse”).  The Just Say No option works by transferring all of married couple’s countable assets into the name of the community spouse only.

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Info Sheet - Special Needs Trust Disbursements

Cash or gift cards provided from the special needs trust (SNT) directly to the beneficiary (for any purpose) are considered unearned income. SSI rules state that for every dollar of unearned income received results in the same amount in reduced SSI benefits for the same month (Medicaid beneficiaries need at least $1.00 of SSI to qualify). In 2021, the maximum SSI benefit is $794.00 per month.

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Worksheet - Estate Planning


Please return the completed worksheet to our office two days prior to your appointment via email clientcare@elderneedslaw.com or fax: 305-931-7848.

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Worksheet - Medicaid Asset Protection


Please return the completed worksheet to our office two days prior to your appointment via email clientcare@elderneedslaw.com or fax: 305-931-7848.

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Explaining Medicaid Long Term Care


It’s important for my (potential) Medicaid-Planning clients to understand that “Medicaid” is an umbrella term used for multiple programs.

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