The Plain English Attorney™
The past few months have been an educational experience for me. After I attended The Estate Planning Source’s Advanced Institute in Nashville last September, I have seen an uptick in Medicaid Planning questions coming in from around the state and around the country. In several of these cases, I was contacted by other professionals who took their clients to a supposed expert in Medicaid Planning and got some really bad advice. Many other questions came from people doing their own research and finding conflicting and inaccurate information.
Some of the things we’ve heard:
- An attorney recommended that a couple get divorced and use the court process to separate their assets so they could apply for Medicaid in a month or two. The problem is they had not been living separate and apart for a year, so they would have to commit perjury and therefore Medicaid fraud to get the state to pay the nursing home bill.
- Two social workers and a banker are telling clients of mine to spend massive amounts of money and then apply for Medicaid for his wife as soon as possible.The problem is they still have about 20 months to go in the look back period for transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars into an irrevocable trust about 40 months ago. This would cause years of ineligibility.
- A receptionist in an accountants office told someone that Medicaid is OK if you gift up to $15,000 a year to as many individuals as you want without impacting eligibility. It’s not OK. (Check out our video on this subject here).
Unfortunately, this misinformation and bad advice is rampant. As I thought about it, I wondered what resources were out there to provide accurate information, so I searched online. There are plenty of attorneys willing to be retained to help, but there are very few mainstream resources on the actual Medicaid rules. Of the resources that were there, particularly on YouTube and podcast services, many were dry, technical, and used legal and industry lingo. These results were a bit depressing, especially since so many people turn to YouTube to get answers. I have decided to do something about this.
My YouTube channel is now called The Plain English Attorney™, and I have started to design videos specifically to address estate and Medicaid Planning issues. We are also developing the videos in a way that is more engaging, fun, and easy to understand. While the best way to help yourself or a loved one protect a lifetime of savings from the nursing home is to speak individually to an attorney a Certified Medicaid Planner™ who understands this area, at least some of the basics will be out there for everyone to see.
In addition to the videos, I’m also converting a room in my house we’ve been using for storage into a studio to record. This has been a project in itself, and I am happy to report that we’ve finally gotten rid of all of the VHS and cassette tapes, wiped and tossed flash drives with less than 256M capacity, and donated books we are not likely to read again. I also managed to purchase a wood desk at a discount, and we’re getting other furniture to hopefully start recording outside my office by the middle of next month.
To help us get this information out, we are asking for your help. Please go to my YouTube channel The Plain English Attorney at https://www.youtube.com/user/nclawyer and then subscribe and consider turning on notifications. Whether or not you are regularly on YouTube doesn’t really matter, but having more subscribers does help get the channel in front of more people who need answers. Thanks for any support you can give!