Often times when I work with clients in Metro-Detroit interested in long term care planning clients are often interested in engaging in planning for VA benefits, but are unaware of the consequences involved with regard to Medicaid benefits should their health decline necessitating a move to a nursing home.
In order to qualify for VA benefits, some clients often transfer their assets to their children or into a special type of trust, at the direction of a financial planner or other “adviser,” to preserve their assets; and, yet qualify for benefits. Frequently, such “advisers” are so focused on qualifying for VA benefits that they often ignore the legal, tax or Medicaid consequences of performing such planning. This often results in added legal expenses to effectively “undo” the planning that was done to qualify for VA benefits and to qualify for Medicaid benefits for the nursing home care that the person now requires.
The solution is to engage in a plan that contemplates additional benefit planning in the future. This can be accomplished by working with an elder law attorney that has knowledge in both areas–VA planning and Medicaid planning. Often times documents and planning can be performed to quickly change gears from VA planning to Medicaid planning without missing a beat or incurring additional costs.