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Understanding Elder Law in Michigan

You may have heard the term “Elder Law” and wondered what it meant. Michigan elder law attorneys help create a legal plan to protect your assets and ensure your wishes are met later in life. Our aging population faces several challenges today, including the high cost of long-term care. A Michigan elder law lawyer can help you or a loved one finance care with a minimal impact on your assets – for example, protecting your home. As you and your loved ones age, the need for care shifts and preparing for long-term care expenses in Michigan can be overwhelming. If you and your loved ones start planning early, you will have more options for future care needs in Michigan.

Elder law encompasses many different fields of law that assist our growing elderly population. Some common legal needs that a Michigan elder law lawyer can help with include:

  • Asset protection
  • Long-term care planning
  • Medicaid planning in Michigan
  • Medicaid crisis planning
  • Veterans benefits – Aid and Attendance

Several challenges can arise for the elderly and the family members or caregivers who support their well-being. The earlier you begin planning, the more options you will have for future care. The consequences of procrastinating or ignoring the realities of aging almost always result in challenging outcomes for you and your family members and often prevent you from making your own healthcare decisions. It takes an experienced long-term care lawyer to prepare you for both care and expenses.

What is Long-Term Care Planning in Michigan?

As people age, long-term care planning will help them prepare for the high cost of health care services. Proper planning with a long-term care attorney can help you avoid the drain health care will have on your hard-earned savings and assets you may have planned to pass down to family members.

Long-term care is intended to meet health needs for an extended time. Aging Americans who can no longer perform daily tasks and activities on their own can benefit from these long-term care services to live as independently as possible. A long-term care attorney can help you or a loved one strategize for long-term care needs in Michigan.

Understanding Michigan Medicaid Planning

Are you confused about Medicaid? You are not alone! Medicaid coverage is complicated — there’s no way around that simple fact.

Medicaid is a federally funded and state-administered program. There is a great deal of variation in the rules for Medicaid eligibility between states. If you reside in Michigan and need Medicaid, Michigan’s Medicaid rules apply.

Medicaid can pay for both in-home and nursing home care. Our attorneys work diligently to ensure that our clients remain comfortably in their homes for as long as possible by navigating the complex eligibility requirements of Medicaid.

Currently, the average cost of nursing home care in Michigan is almost $9,500 per month. Very few people can afford this expense, so Medicaid is often needed to pay these costs. To qualify for Medicaid, you must meet distinct asset and income requirements. These eligibility requirements can be met by strategic legal planning with the Michigan Medicaid planning lawyers at Malicoat Law.

Understanding Michigan Medicaid Eligibility

Many people misunderstand Michigan Medicaid rules and regulations because of the complexities of Medicaid eligibility. Misinformation has also circulated on this subject. The families of senior citizens in Michigan should only seek legal advice about Medicaid coverage from qualified and experienced Michigan elder law attorneys.

It can be challenging to navigate Medicaid eligibility on your own. However, there are many options to protect your assets while still becoming eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid rules depend on many factors, such as whether you are single or married when applying for nursing home or in-home care. You or a loved one can benefit greatly from an experienced Michigan Medicaid planning attorney, like the attorneys at Malicoat Law. They understand Michigan’s specific Medicaid application and approval process. We can tailor your Medicaid plan to your financial and healthcare needs.

What are Michigan’s Medicaid Qualification Requirements?

To receive Medicaid benefits in Michigan, you or a loved one must meet eligibility requirements. To qualify for benefits, you must:

  • Be over the age of 65; or
  • Be blind or disabled; or
  • Have a child, parent, or spouse in your household who is blind or disabled.

Without the assistance of Medicaid coverage in Michigan, you or a loved one will be held financially responsible for monthly healthcare costs. Our law firm and Michigan Medicaid planning attorneys can assist you or a loved one in protecting your savings from being spent down on the high costs of long-term care in areas like Bay City, Auburn, Freeland, Saginaw, Mount Pleasant, Tawas City, East Tawas, Hale, or Oscoda.

Michigan Annual Median Cost of Care (2023)

Homemaker Services $65,538 Adult Day Health Care $20,688 Semi-Private Room $112,296
Home Health Aide $67,965 Assisted Living Facility $56,779 Private Room $116,169


Understanding Michigan Medicaid Crisis Planning

Medicaid crisis planning in Michigan refers to planning for eligibility for Medicaid when a person is experiencing an immediate or near immediate health care crisis. If you, or a loved one, find yourself in serious need of Medicaid coverage, legal guidance from a Michigan Medicaid planning lawyer can help. At Malicoat Law, our Michigan Medicaid planning attorneys can identify significant estate issues that will disqualify you from Medicaid coverage and rapidly develop a Medicaid plan to address your healthcare needs.

It may not be necessary to get long-term care right away. However, you may want to plan ahead for future care needs at your home or a Michigan nursing home. This situation can be classified as non-crisis planning or advanced Medicaid planning. Overall, preparing for future care is the most effective way to prevent your assets from being drained by long-term care costs. Whatever your stage in the planning process of long-term care planning in Michigan, Malicoat Law is here to help.

Understanding Veterans Planning in Michigan

Veteran law and benefits can be challenging to navigate. Our law firm understands veterans’ benefits and the value of incorporating veterans’ planning in Michigan into your estate plan and long-term care planning goals.

Understanding Eligibility Requirements for Veterans’ Benefits

Veteran healthcare benefits are available if you served in the active military, naval, or air force services and did not receive a dishonorable discharge. The eligibility requirements for VA benefits include:

  • Veterans engaged in wartime services are eligible, and the dates are generally more expansive than most people would associate with the beginning and conclusion of the war. These dates are as follows:

World War II:  12/7/1941-12/31/1946

Korean War: 6/27/1950-1/31/1955

Vietnam War: 2/28/1961-5/7/1975, if served in the country of Vietnam, otherwise 8/5/1964 – 5/7/1975

Persian Gulf: 8/2/1990- TBD

  • If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981, you must have served 24 continuous months or the entire period you were called to active duty unless any of the described situations below are accurate.

The minimum duty requirement may not apply if any of these are accurate. You:

  • Were discharged for a disability that was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service, or
  • Were discharged for a hardship or “early out,” or
  • Served before September 7, 1980
  • If you’re a current or former member of the Reserve or National Guard, you must have been called to active duty by a federal order and completed the whole period for which you were on active duty.

Malicoat Law can assist with the veterans’ benefits application process in Michigan. You may not qualify for veterans’ benefits if you own too many assets. An experienced Michigan veterans’ benefits attorney can help you navigate the application process and qualify for benefits by moving your assets into a trust.

Understanding Aid and Attendance for Michigan Veterans

If a Michigan veteran or spouse has a medical condition that causes them to struggle with their daily tasks and they meet the income requirements, they are eligible to receive the VA’s Improved Pension. The Improved Pension ranges from $1,100 to $2,200 monthly, covering nursing care expenses, home care, or assisted living.

Veterans Aid and Attendance Eligibility

If you receive a VA pension and meet the eligibility requirements, you or a loved one may be eligible for VA Aid and Attendance benefits in Michigan.

At least one of the requirements listed below must be true to qualify for Aid and Attendance:

  • You need another person to help you perform daily activities, like bathing, feeding, and dressing; or
  • You have to stay in bed, or spend a large portion of the day in bed, because of illness; or
  • You are a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability; or
  • Your eyesight is limited (even with glasses or contact lenses you have only 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less)

One important consideration with VA benefits planning is that it can drastically impact your eligibility for Medicaid. If you’re dealing with VA benefits, you’re also dealing with Medicaid. It would be best to seek legal advice from a Michigan veteran benefits attorney specializing in Medicaid and veterans’ benefits planning, like the attorneys at Malicoat Law.

Why Do You Need an Elder Law Attorney on Your Side?

An elder law attorney specializes in a specific area of the law focusing on the legal needs of older adults, veterans, and adults with special needs. As our life expectancy increases, people are dealing with rising healthcare costs and an increase in debilitating diseases, such as dementia, among many other aging issues. An elder law lawyer can help address your specific situation and find the right solutions.

Your Michigan Elder Law Lawyer

Our attorney, Geoff Malicoat, of Malicoat Law, helps clients better understand Michigan Medicaid and creates custom plans to prevent long-term care from eroding their life savings. With the help of our Michigan law firm, you or a loved one can create a plan that avoids or minimizes the need to spend assets before qualifying for Medicaid.

Malicoat Law’s elder law attorneys can help you and your loved ones understand estate planning, elder law, business planning, and probate, as well as estate and trust administration. Our law firm welcomes the opportunity to consult with new clients in cities such as Bay City, Auburn, Freeland, Saginaw, Mount Pleasant, Tawas City, East Tawas, Hale, or Oscoda.

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