Life Becomes More Complicated, a column authored by Attorney Mikael Hooker, is a wealth of information. He covers everything from living wills to nursing home costs. We are happy to provide copies of his articles here.

 

Many of you may know that Medicare does not pay for long term care costs. It only pays for short term rehab. What about Medicaid aka Masshealth? That agency only pays for your care if you are single, have less than $2,000 and have not made substantial gifts during the preceding five years. If you are married, Medicaid allows the spouse in the home to retain a house and up to $126,000 in savings. Everything above that (including your condo on the Cape) is exposed to care costs.

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For those of you who have read past columns, you know that a Power of Attorney authorizing a person to manage your money while you are alive is often more important than signing a Will.

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I am sure there are readers out there who, like me, aren’t excited about the aging process. Most of us say, “well if I am going to age, I want it to be in my house, not in a home or facility.”

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When clients or the children contact me and say, “we are concerned about asset protection” I often ask “protection from what or from whom?” The answer is generally “the state” or “the nursing home.” In other words, they are trying to protect their savings from catastrophic health care costs.

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