What is it you do?
We offer an estate and financial planning service to seniors that focuses on getting government benefits to pay for long-term care. A client put it this way: "There are benefits out there that we don't know about and couldn't get ourselves. You help us get those benefits." That's about right.
Do you sell insurance?
No, we do not. Most of those we help cannot afford long-term care insurance. Those who could often find themselves unable to purchase it due to a medical condition. In fact if you've been turned down for insurance, this is one of your only options.
How do you do this?
The State allows Californians to protect their assets while receiving long-term care benefits. We use our extensive knowledge of regulations and methods to create a strategy that allows families to receive benefits without spend down or estate claims.
Can't I get benefits on my own?
Benefits are freely available to all Californians who qualify. If you have no assets to protect, you don't need our help. If you are wealthy, you probably don't want benefits. However, if you are in the middle and have savings or a home, it is likely your assets are in jeopardy, and that you will need professional assistance.
If I gift everything to my kids, will I qualify?
Often, families at need will clean out their loved one's account for everything except $2,000. However, there is a look-back period that will scrutinize all previous financial transactions for up to five years. This look-back period was put in place to disqualify exactly this kind of transaction. Fortunately, a solution still exists, but it must be followed in exactly the right manner or disqualification will still be the result.
Can we protect our home?
Many patients are unaware of the estate recovery process that exists. This process places the family home in jeopardy after the patient's death. The home absolutely can be protected. Some families attempt to protect their home by simply transferring title to someone else, but this can result in a large capital gain when the home is sold. There are methods to protect the home and avoid capital gains if you know how to do so. Our services include this level of protection for our clients.
Do you do this for wealthy people?
No. In fact, our typical client has only a modest home and a small amount of savings.
Doesn't my living trust protect me?
Most Seniors think it does… no, it does not protect you from estate claims or spend down.
What process do you follow?
We work with your family to understand your objectives and assets; we then create and implement a strategy to accomplish your desires and assure benefits. Because each family is different, we cannot boiler-plate any strategy… the outcome is customized for your family. When we have finished, you know what the benefits are and how to get them. And your inheritance will be safe.
Do I have to lose control of my assets now in order to preplan?
No – preplanning can actually help you avoid loss of control! It is important to identify in advance any assets you possess that might disqualify you for benefits; then to develop a strategy to neutralize the problem. There are many options available in order to protect your assets. We will work with you to make sure we accomplish your objectives.
Can I stay in my own home?
Yes, benefits do exist for in-home care. You could also receive care in the home of a family member or friend, if that was your choice.
What if the State changes the laws?
Fortunately, the areas of benefits in which we specialize have been very stable over the past decades. The laws will most certainly change, and those changes will usually make it more difficult to get benefits. However, it is rare that laws are enacted retroactively, so doing some preplanning now might assist you in being "grandfathered in" when a change is made.
Do I receive inferior care?
Most people assume there are only a couple facilities for the poor. Actually, over 90% of all facilities in California accept State benefits. About 2 out of 3 patients in a facility already receive these benefits. Both those receiving benefits and patients who pay privately are cared for by the same staff, often in the same room.
My loved one is in a nursing home--- it is too late?
No, we can help! Call us immediately!
How can I get more information?
Just call our offices or email us. However, the best way to get all the answers is to meet with a representative. There is no pressure or obligation.