Preparation makes the difference.
As we age, we are often confronted with the challenges of paying for long term care costs. Such challenges often conflict with one’s wish to leave assets or sentimental property to our loved ones when we die. Proper planning often requires understanding your options several years prior to the time that the need for long term care services arise. For example, knowledge of the “five year look back” may permit you to gift assets to your family members in time to preserve such assets for your loved ones. But if time has run out and you need long term care services now, do not despair. It is important for you to understand what assets you and your spouse can keep, so that you do not spend down all of your assets unnecessarily, and impoverish yourself or your spouse. Call us for an elder law consultation so that you understand your rights and options as early as possible.
Perhaps your loved ones were not able to plan ahead of time and the County placed a lien against your loved one’s estate on their death, following their receipt of public assistance for their medical or long term care. Such liens and estate recovery efforts by the government can be challenged and assets preserved for their heirs.
We have successfully challenged recovery efforts by Douglas County, Minnesota on behalf of several clients. In Douglas County v. Lindgren, a child who received her parents’ home was allowed to keep the gift due to a judge’s finding that the state law permitting the county to sue the child was pre-empted by federal law. See the Lindgren case here.