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The Wood Law Firm - Senior Planning Division

Texas Medicaid / Estate Planning

Long-Term Care Nursing Care

Private Pay OnlyAttorney Meeting

Dallasblue black bulletFort Worthblue black bulletHoustonblue black bulletKatyblue black bulletKerrvilleblue black bulletSan Antonio

Main Office - 451 Guadalupe St #204 Kerrville, TX 78028 {Map}
Office: (830) 896-8972

Katy / Houston Office - 535 E. Fernhurst Dr. #334, Katy, TX 77450, (346) 251-0208
Dallas / Fort Worth - 5001 Spring Valley Road, #400 East, Dallas, TX 75244, (214) 438-0422

Total Spend Down is NOT the answer.

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Today, one of the most stressful problems facing seniors who enter long term care facilities is the loss of their life savings by paying for long term care. An alternate source of funding for skilled nursing costs could be the long-term care Medicaid program. We help families establish Medicaid Qualification while preserving assets and protecting the home.

When entering a nursing facility you have one of two options: The first option is a total spend down of your life savings on long term care costs. The second option is to be able to preserve a substantial amount of your life savings, while at the same time qualifying for Medicaid benefits. There is a large information gap for families on how to access long-term care benefits under the Medicaid program and avoid unnecessary spend down of resources.

We've been helping families with Medicaid Qualification all over the state of Texas since 2009.

Wood Law Firm logoThe Medicaid Trust
One currently-effective planning technique is to transfer assets into a 'Medicaid' Trust. In a Medicaid Trust, the trust maker retains the right to all of the trust income for life while irrevocably giving up the right to receive or benefit from any of the trust principal. The assets in the trust are not available to pay for the cost of the trust maker's long term care.

By using a Medicaid Trust, a senior can preserve capital and still qualify for Medicaid, but only after expiration of the look-back period for the transfer to the trust (which can be as much as 60 months (5 years)). The 'penalty period' starts from the date the applicant applies for Medicaid and would be eligible but for the disqualifying transfer. Its length is determined by dividing the state's average daily private pay nursing home cost into the total of the transfers made during the look-back period.

For the Medicaid Trust strategy to work, insurance, an income stream, or other assets must be sufficient to pay for long term care if needed during the waiting period before applying for Medicaid. A Medicaid Trust can allow the trustee to distribute principal during the trust maker's lifetime for the benefit of the trust maker's spouse, children, or other designated beneficiaries, just not to or for the benefit of the trust maker.

Many trust makers choose to maintain the right (called a Special Power of Appointment) to change the current or ultimate beneficiaries of the Medicaid Trust by 'reappointing' the assets to different family members at a later date.

Wood Law Firm logoAbout Us

We began this business after experiencing first hand how difficult it can be to qualify for Medicaid at a Long-Term Care facility. We witnessed a married couple needing around $9,000 for Long Term Care. They spoke with the Health and Human Service Commission office and they were told to spend down their total assets to $3,000 then they would qualify for Medicaid.

After spending their life savings and even selling their home and vehicle, Medicaid benefits finally began. They were devastated! We began to research how to help families with home and asset preservation while getting qualified for Medicaid in hopes that others will never have to experience what this family experienced. 

Wood Law Firm logoHow We Can Help You

Our Senior Planning Division provides estate preservation from Medicaid long term care spend down. The best time to call us is when the person is entering the nursing home.

You donít have to spend your life savings paying nursing home costs. If you are responsible for the management of the assets of someone who is currently in or about to enter a nursing home facility, the following information is vital to that personís financial health. Let us help you qualify for Medicaid before you start private pay with the long term care facility.

We find so many times that when a client comes to us who has been private paying they realize after the fact that we could have prevented it. Even if you know of someone who is currently in a nursing home in Texas who is private paying, why not tell them about our service and give us a call. It might be one of the most important calls they ever make.

If you know the guidelines and how to apply them, you will find that in most cases you are not required to spend all your money, but can actually preserve a large part of it. Total Spend Down is not the answer.

Wood Law Firm logoD. Lyle Wood

I was born in San Antonio, graduated high school in Dallas, received my business degree from The University of Texas and my juris doctorate from Texas Tech University School of Law. Before law school I worked for the I.R.S. in Austin and the F.D.I.C. in Houston. D. Lyle Wood, AttorneyUpon graduating from law school, my wife and I moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico where I practiced law for 32 years, helping families in both New Mexico and Texas with estate, financial and business planning and other legal matters.

I am a member of WealthCounsel, a national affiliation of estate and business succession attorneys. I participate in legal education programs at which WealthCounsel members, including attorneys, accountants and financial planners, share cutting edge planning tools and techniques.

While my wife and I enjoyed the wonderful people and beautiful landscapes of New Mexico, we had always planned to return to our Texas roots at some point. After the kids left the nest (and landed in Texas), we felt the pull of the Texas hill country and decided the time was right. So here I am, re-established in the heart of the Texas hill country, eager to get to know new friends, neighbors and clients.

Wood Law Firm logoContact us Today!

Contact the Senior Planning Division of The Wood Law Firm today to arrange for your free consultation at (830) 896-8972 or complete our Request for Information form below. Remember, Total Spend Down is not the answer.

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DISCLAIMER: Links to other websites or references to products, services or publications do not imply the endorsement or approval of such websites, products, services or publications by Elder Options of Texas. The determination of the need for senior care services and the choice of a facility is an extremely important decision. Please make your own independent investigation.