Long term care planning is always a good idea, since it can help a family protect itself from the expense of long term care.  On Mothers’ Day, it can be even more relevant.  Why?  Most mothers want to take care of their families, even when it is hard on them personally, and often sacrifice to make sure their children have what they need.  However, mothers are usually the ones who end in nursing homes, since women have a longer life expectancy. 

Long term care planning allows mothers to consider how to cover the cost of their long term care, whether this is through the use of long term care insurance, veterans benefits, self-payment from savings or Medicaid.  Most mothers prefer to give their assets to their children rather than spend it on their own nursing home care. However, if these gifts are made within 5 years of needing long term care, the gifts may make mothers ineligible for Medicaid. 

Medicaid has a 5 year look back period for eligibility, which means that you look back 5 years from the date of applying for Medicaid and see what assets, if any, were given away during that period of time.  If mothers make themselves ineligible for Medicaid, Pennsylvania’s filial support law could result in their children being sued by the nursing home to cover the cost of care. 

Long term care planning with an experienced elder law attorney can help to avoid this type of ineligibility for Medicaid and help children to avoid being held liable under Pennsylvania’s filial support law for their mothers’ long term care.