The Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Estate and Medicaid Planning

We are living in the midst of a do-it-yourself (DIY) revolution. There is unprecedented access to instructions and information on how to do things you never thought you would be able to do on your own.

Under certain circumstances, like when it comes to finding recipes on the internet or getting tips on garden care from HGTV, this is a positive development. Additionally, as we age many of us become ever more determined not to ask for help. We are afraid that any need for assistance could usher in a decline in independence. Nonetheless, there are some things that should always be left to professionals.  

Estate planning, particularly with regard to financially preparing for a senior’s medical needs, is one of those things.

Websites like Legal Zoom and financial gurus like Suze Orman dispense a wealth of advice and espouse the benefits of handling legal matters on your own. The cold, hard truth is that estate planning and planning for your Long-Term Care are much too important to risk making a disastrous mistake by attempting to do it on your own.

These are extremely complex matters that require the extensive training and experience of elder law attorneys. Sure, you could go on Legal Zoom and fill out a preloaded template for a will or trust, but there is little to no chance you will be able to effectively address all of your needs without the seasoned guidance of a professional elder law attorney.

Medicaid, for example, provides a case-in-point. Medicaid is an intricate and complex system with a diverse and oftentimes confusing set of rules and regulation. You simply cannot afford to make any mistakes with regard to planning for Medicaid. Additionally, no two cases are alike. DIY planning for things like Medicaid or any form of Long-Term Care force you to take a cookie-cutter approach that likely does not account for numerous aspects of your specific circumstances. This is especially true in crisis Medicaid planning situations where you or your loved one must begin private pay for nursing home care within the next month.

An elder law attorney like George Hough of ProActive Legal Care, whose practice is primarily focused on this facet of the law, is thoroughly trained and knowledgeable about Medicaid and Long-Term Care planning. He will be able to analyze your unique situation and explain how certain actions, like giving gifts to family members or owning property, could affect your ability to receive this vital government healthcare assistance.

Your estate plans should ensure that you will always be able to afford the medical care you will need as you age while also preserving as much of your assets as possible. But effectively achieving this is extremely unlikely without the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney. Your financial and healthcare planning are simply too important to do it yourself—please call ProActive Legal Care today and let us help!

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