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How to Finance Nursing Home Care
 
Long-term assisted living or nursing home care can be one of the most burdensome expenses that a family can endure. The question of how to finance nursing home care is best addressed well in advance. When facing the expense of nursing home care, there are a variety of options available to individuals and families.
 
Medicaid for Nursing Home Care
Medicaid is the largest source of nursing home care financing in Texas. Without long-term care insurance, staying in a nursing home, for even a few months will exhaust the resources most families. Thus for many, the nursing home Medicaid program is a vital lifeline. However, the program enforces strict guidelines as to income eligibility and other qualifying requirements. As of 2021, the Medicaid income cap was $2,382.00 monthly. Additionally, there is a limit of $2,000 on the countable assets a person may own. Certain assets are exempted from Medicaid's asset value limits. The most important of these asset exemptions is for your primary residence. A variety of other exceptions and provisions are available to ease Medicaid eligibility, especially when only one spouse needs nursing home care. Thus, expert assistance in applying for Medicaid benefits will ensure that you do not misrepresent your income, your assets, or that you fail to take advantage of the exceptions to the eligibility requirements that may be available to you.
 
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Do You Need to Update Your Estate Plan?  Five Things You Should Consider.
Unfortunately, creating an estate plan is not a one and done process. You must make sure that your plan keeps up to date with changes in your life. I recommend that my clients take a moment once a year to review their plans themselves and meet with me at least every three years to make sure that their plans are current. Here are five items that you should consider when reviewing your plans.
  1. Deaths, Disability, or Other Changes in the Family

You should consider whether the individuals named in your planning documents such as medical powers of attorney, durable powers of attorney, wills and/or revocable trusts, have died. While a well drafted plan will include provisions that provide for an alternate distribution of your assets or an alternate executor, for example, if people in your plan have passed, you should consider updating your documents to make sure they cover your life as it is now. Other changes can trigger a need to change your plans. The person you named as executor may have moved across the country. Additionally, a person named as an agent, trustee, or executor may have become disabled physically or mentally. A child may have developed an issue with drugs or alcohol, and you need to remove the child as an alternate agent under your power of attorney or establish a trust for them to prevent them from squandering their share of the estate. All are good reasons to revisit your plan and make changes.

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