Follow Kara Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Email Kara Email
Legal Issues
Dec 4, 2017

Debunking Five Common Myths About Long-Term Care Planning

Sponsored Content provided by Kara Gansmann - Attorney, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

When seniors and families start thinking about long-term care planning, a number of questions arise. 
 
Some of the questions come from common misconceptions about elder law issues or Medicaid. These misconceptions are worth revisiting to debunk them once and for all.
 

Myth 1: Medicare will cover my nursing home expenses.

Medicare will pay some costs associated with a patient’s first 100 days in a nursing home following a hospitalization of three or more days.  However, Medicare does not cover long-term care in a nursing home.  Families often rely on long-term care insurance or pay privately for nursing home care before they can qualify for Medicaid. 

 
Myth 2: I have to spend all my assets to be eligible for Medicaid.

Families may choose to spend all their assets on care.  Elder law attorneys determine the best approach for each family by considering the needs of any at-home spouse, the amount of time available to plan, the family’s goals, and the types of assets. By using tools like trusts and annuities, families can preserve assets and still qualify for Medicaid.
 

Myth 3: I need to give my house to my children to protect it. 

Transferring a house to children could create some unintended tax consequences for the children. More importantly, the transfer and the timing of the transfer could be viewed by Medicaid as a gift, creating a Medicaid penalty on the amount gifted. Often, the better solution is to transfer the home into a trust or explore the possibility of selling an interest in the home to a child.
 

Myth 4: My husband needs nursing home care, so Medicaid only needs to know about his assets.

The truth is that Medicaid will examine all assets of a married couple, even if those assets are individually owned and there is a prenuptial agreement in place.
 

Myth 9: If one spouse goes to a nursing home, all of that spouse’s income goes to the nursing home.

In North Carolina, a spouse who enters a nursing home may currently keep up to $30 as a monthly personal needs allowance, and the rest could be spent on care. However, the law allows a spouse at home to receive between $2,002.50 and $3,022.50 as a spousal allowance. If the at-home spouse does not earn income within these figures, then the institutionalized spouse’s income can be used to supplement the at-home spouse’s income.
 
As families begin planning for long-term care and end of life matters, consult an elder law attorney to help navigate the laws and to avoid common pitfalls.

Kara Gansmann is an attorney in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP, where her practice encompasses elder law and estate planning. Kara advises individuals and families with estate planning needs and asset protection tactics. In this role, she strategizes with clients to preserve assets for long-term care and to leave legacy gifts to family members. Kara works with elderly clients in need of Medicaid crisis planning and Medicaid applications. As part of her practice, Kara drafts wills, trusts and powers of attorney. In the courtroom, Kara represents clients in the administration of estates, guardianship/incompetency proceedings, and guardianship administration. Kara also litigates estate and trust matters, including will caveats, the modification or termination of trusts, and litigation arising from estate documents or fiduciary roles. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs Section and serves as co-chair of the CLE Committee for that section.  Kara also serves as a liaison between the North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs Section and the North Carolina Bar Association Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section.


 

Other Posts from Kara Gansmann

Wbj insights revised 0510 121615113531
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Lr 7992 pp 911712351

Dignity Offers New Final Family Resting Places

Patrick Kelly - Dignity Memorial
Mike stonestreet 300x300

Stay Off The Naughty List When Planning Holiday Events

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)
Adamshay 300x300

Leadership Lessons From The Battleship

Adam Shay - Adam Shay CPA, PLLC

Trending News

Local Airbnb Hosts Earned Nearly $11M In 2017

Cece Nunn - Jan 15, 2018

Business Community Remembers Beth Quinn, Co-founder Of She Rocks

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jan 17, 2018

Investor Buys Leland Industrial Park Property

Cece Nunn - Jan 15, 2018

Piano Bar And Lounge To Fill Aubriana's Downtown Spot

Cece Nunn - Jan 17, 2018

Made Mole Brewing Coming To Oleander Drive This Spring

Jessica Maurer - Jan 17, 2018

In The Current Issue

Info Junkie: Anita Harrell

Anita Harrell’s company offers personal and small-group training aimed at improving fitness, health, wellness and quality of life....


Spectrum Expands Its Offerings On Bald Head

Spectrum recently launched new offerings for residential and business customers on Bald Head Island....


Economic Development Goals On Deck

The Greater Wilmington Business Journal surveyed local economic development groups for updates on their activities....

Book On Business

The 2017 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with John Gizdic, CEO, New Hanover Regional Medical Center
Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2017
2017 Health Care Heroes