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SpokaneInnovaging2014

CHAPTER ONE n TAKING CHARGE so without expert advice. Transfers from a well spouse to a non spouse following placement of an ill spouse on Medicaid results in penalties only to the well spouse, and should not affect care for the ill spouse. Transfers made prior to Medicaid eligibility affects both. DSHS has become extremely aggressive in collecting against Medicaid recipients’ estates and, in some instances, will place liens on your home even before you die. Recovery is limited to assets held by the disabled spouse at the time of death, so an interspousal transfer must be completed to prevent DSHS from taking your home or exempt assets upon your demise. Failure to transfer the home will spell disaster for your children. An effective power of Attorney grant- ing power to transfer assets to your spouse or children is critical. Internet, stationery or do it yourself forms do not contain adequate powers to effect these transfers and may force you into a guardianship proceeding or contribute to the practical impoverishment of you and your loved ones. Find and consult an attorney familiar with long-term care costs is possible, and with these complex laws before you take could save you and your loved ones sig- With a proper Durable Power, people action and be sure your Durable Power nificant resources, allowing you to retire can avoid or minimize the qualification stays updated. If you can afford it and are in dignity. spend down. Without this document, you healthy, the purchase of long-term care can anticipate significant difficulties with insurance should always be considered, Medicaid in helping you with the stag- and can save you from the need to access gering costs of long-term care. You must Medicaid, or provide you a significant be extremely careful who you grant this “safe harbor” should you need Medicaid power to, however. Relatives with powers to help with the cost of care by providing of attorney can help save your assets, but an exempt credit for your policy’s value they can also steal them. Only give this when that law is enacted. power to people you trust with your life. When you need a medical specialist, the Strategies exist to help people retain their best way to find that doctor is to ask other life savings and home; however, the physicians. Finding an Elder Law attorney effectiveness depends upon estate size, is no different. Ask your lawyer, doctor or the planning undertaken prior to illness, accountant for a referral, or ask lawyers and the skills of the attorney you are or accountants you know for assistance. working with to maximize exemptions. With qualified help, obtaining assistance Richard L. Sayre is a certified elder law speaker on Elder Law, estate planning and attorney* practicing in Spokane. Mr. taxation issues throughout the State of Sayre has been rated as one of the Best Washington. He can be reached by phone Spokane Lawyers by Spokane Magazine at 509-325-7330 or through the Sayre and annually since 2005 and has been des- Sayre website at www.sayrelaw.com. ignated a Super Lawyer by Washington *The Supreme Court of Washington does not recognize Law and Politics annually since 2000. specialties, and certification is not required to practice law He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at in Washington. Gonzaga University, and is a frequent THE OPINIONS OFFERED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION ONLY. TO FURTHER EXPLORE THIS TOPIC, THE PUBLISHER ENCOURAGES YOU TO CONTACT TRUSTED PROFESSIONALS. 29


SpokaneInnovaging2014
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