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Elder Law

Daily & Toups are helping adults and seniors put their lives in order through professional elder law services. We’re dedicated to our clients and work to improve their quality of life and help them achieve peace of mind for more than two decades!

– Bishop Toups, Partner

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Elder law can help seniors meet the challenges of age

Elder law involves legal services for seniors, people of age and the disabled. Seniors need to carefully plan the remaining years of their lives. As we age, the needs for medical care increase and the costs rise exponentially.

Unfortunatelly, affording comprehensive healthcare is reserved only for the most wealthy. Permanent care can destroy the budget of ordinary families and impose unbearable hardship.

Fortunatelly elder law attorneys can help! With the use of various legal tools, anybody can get into the government healthcare programm which will sponsor a huge part of your medical needs.

Daily & Toups is an experienced elder law and estate planning firm. We can help you claim assistance and reduce your expenses for health care. Contact us for a free consultation – no strings attached.

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What is elder law?

Medical care in the U.S. is not cheap and is only becoming more expensive. For many seniors their life-long savings and hard work will evaporate when they need prolonged and extensive medical care. This evaporation of assets can be avoided with the right planning.

Elder law is the area of legal practice that encompasses all activities related to planning for a senior’s elder years.

It includes (but is not limited to) the following practices:

  • Health care planning
  • Long-term care planning
  • Estate planning
  • Financial planning and tax planning
  • Business succession planning
  • Asset preservation
  • Protection against fraud, abuse, or malpractice

If you pass away without an estate plan or a will, state laws will distribute your assets according to their own statutes. This can result in family members receiving assets when you never intended for those assets to receive assets. Also, your family will need to go through a complicated, expensive, and long process called probate.

If you want to leave the house to your granddaughter, you can simply list her as the sole beneficiary in your will. However, a will still needs to go through a formal court procedure called probate and your granddaughter will have to pay a substantial amount of money to an attorney to receive the house. Estate planning attorneys in Florida make more money off of probate than anything else.

A good estate plan makes use of legal tools, like trusts, to avoid unnecessary costs and transfer your assets quickly and efficiently to your beneficiaries without involving the courts.

Medicaid Planning

One of the main practice areas of an elder law attorney is Medicaid planning. Medicaid planning involves all of the above practices and – when done properly – allows seniors to preserve their life savings and qualify for Medicaid.

Medicaid is completely different than Medicare. While both are government-run programs, Medicaid is used to pay for medical costs for low-income individuals. In Florida, Medicaid will pay for a senior’s long-term medical costs when that senior needs in-home care, assisted living facility care, or nursing home care.

What does Medicaid cover?

If enrolled in a Medicaid programm, it will pay for the following services in every state in the country.

Nursing facility services for individuals age 65 or 21 and disabled

Home care for individuals eligible for nursing facility services

Inpatient hospital services

Outpatient hospital services

Family nurse practitioner services

Physician services

Lab and x-ray services

Medical and surgical dental services

There are more services which are only paid by Medicaid in certain states. Such are prescription drug coverage, prosthetic services, optometrist services and eyeglasses.

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Qualifying for Medicaid

Many seniors unfortunately never look into qualifying for Medicaid because the asset limit for a single individual living in Florida is $2,000 for 2019. And the income limit for a single individual in Florida is $2,313 per month for 2019. Most seniors will look at these numbers, realize they have far more in assets or income than Medicaid allows, and will never speak to an elder law attorney.

The reality is that with every government-run program or system there are exceptions – this includes Medicaid. A single senior individual with $2,000,000 in assets – far above the $2,000 limit – can still qualify for Florida Medicaid with the right planning done.

You may ask how someone with $2,000,000 in assets could qualify for Medicaid. The answer is that the Florida Legislature and the Federal Government have carved out exceptions for seniors who have far more than $2,000 in assets or $2,313 in income.

How does Medicaid planning work?

  • 2016 Dodge Minivan worth $15,000
  • Homestead Residential Property worth $300,000
  • IRA worth $200,000
  • Income of $2,500 per month from social security
  • Small pension

At first glance the senior clearly does not qualify for Medicaid. The assets ($515,000) are far above the allowed $2,000. And the income ($2,500) is also above the allowed $2,313 per month.

Would it shock you to hear that with some simple planning this senior would qualify for Medicaid?

The 2016 Dodge Minivan, the Homestead Residential Property, and the IRA are completely exempt for Medicaid qualification purposes. The only thing that would need to be done is set up a Qualified Income Trust (QIT) – also known as a Miller Trust – because the senior’s income is above the allowed amount.