Parents need a power of attorney for Medicaid planning


If you may need to put your parents in a nursing home, they will need to have a very good power of attorney for you to do Medicaid and asset protection for them.


Attorney Tom Olsen: Anthony, you're on News 96.5, go ahead.

Anthony: Tom, thank you for taking this call. My call is, basically, I'm looking at setting up probably a power of attorney for my parents. As their health has declined, I'm really concerned as for as in event that they had- one of them had to be placed in a nursing home. I understand just talking to some friends who've had their parents placed in nursing home that you have to have all your ducks in a row for the mere fact you don't want your parents' home to be taken or anything of that nature. What's your best advice for that?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Anthony, let's start with the basics. That is that Medicaid is the government agency that will pay for somebody's nursing home if they cannot afford it.

Anthony: Got you.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Medicaid is a combination of both state and federal law, what's true here in Florida but is not necessarily true in another state. Here in the State of Florida, you can qualify for Medicaid and keep your home, whether you're a single person or a married couple. Even they do nothing, they will always be able to keep their home. Medicaid nursing homes will never take it from them.

There is last minute planning that can be done to preserve and protect some of your other assets from Medicaid. To do that last-minute planning absolutely, positively requires that your parents have a good financial power of attorney in place. You're saying, "Tom, we want to do some Medicaid planning with asset protection for mom and dad, what do I need to do?" You need to make sure they have a good financial power of attorney in place. When you go to do that Medicaid planning, that is going to be the first thing that that Medicaid planning attorney ask you. If your parents have already been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's, it's too late.

Anthony: Right. Because dad has a touch of dementia, a touch of it. Like I said, the thing I'm concerned, he told me he has everything in the banks filed away. I guess I'm just at that point whereas I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Well, everything in a bank filed away is not a substitute for having a good financial power of attorney, Anthony.

Anthony: So true, so true.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Are they residents of Florida?

Anthony: Yes, they are. Yes, they are.

Attorney Tom Olsen: While your dad is still capable, he and your mom need to get down and do some estate planning, including a financial power of attorney. Anthony, I'm in Orlando. I'd be pleased to assist them if they're in this area.