Long term care planning should be done with an elder law attorney since only an elder law attorney can give legal advice and best represent your interests. Sometimes, a nursing home may recommend an organization or service to help you with such a Medicaid plan; but it is important to remember that such a group may be looking out for the interests of the nursing home, not your interests.
An organization that “specializes” in helping you with spending your money on long term care services may be more interested in making sure that the nursing home gets paid than in protecting your assets for your family. A Medicaid advisory group may be owned by the nursing home or the nursing home’s corporate owner. An advisory service will not offer advice on how to protect assets or how to ensure that the spouse who remains at home will have more income to live on if you are in a nursing home. Usually, you will talk with a non-lawyer “specialist” who is only permitted to discuss how to spend your money down on care. This “specialist” cannot offer advice.
On the other hand, an elder law attorney can provide a range of legal advice on estate planning (which includes the preparation of Wills, Powers of Attorneys and Living Wills), on long term care planning (to help protect your assets and to provide additional income for your spouse) and on estate administration (to handle your affairs after death and protect your heirs). It is in you and your family’s best interests to meet with an elder law attorney when you need long term care planning help.