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VMM FAMILY INSTITUTE WEEKLY INSIGHTS: PLANNING OPTIONS WHEN THE NEED FOR MEDICAID IS IMMEDIATE

When the need arises, families must meet with professionals including attorneys, social workers, accountants and insurance agents to begin the Medicaid process. A diligent gathering of information and documents is a must. We often are often asked what documents are required in addition to the obvious names, telephone numbers and dates of birth. Confirmation of U.S. citizenship, Social Security numbers, Medicare and supplemental health insurance info also is important, as are copies of durable Powers of Attorney, prepaid burial funds, joint income tax returns and proof of pension income, if any.

There also needs to be an inquiry concerning asset transfers and gifts that have taken place. It is urgent for a pre-need asset planning technique to be contemplated, and in some cases, implemented immediately. The families also must look into debts, bills and prepayment of regular expenses. Asset transfers for less than fair market value before needing Medicaid, but during the "look back" period, must be scrutinized. A sophisticated Medicaid planner will also review the use of Medicaid trusts and their tax implications.

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