Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples are finally able to become legally married in New York. Under New York’s Marriage Equality Act, same-sex couples enjoy the same protections as any other married couples, and government agencies are required to treat all married individuals equally regardless of gender.
Financial Protection For Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Couples
You’ll find details on asset protection strategies available to married couples by clicking these links:
If a same-sex couple is not legally married, when one member becomes sick or disabled in a LGBT relationship the partnership can be financially ruined by the same health care expenses that impact any unmarried couple. In a situation in which home or nursing facility care may be required, the ramifications can be quite severe. That’s because Medicaid will insist that the ill or infirm individual’s assets be almost completely “spent down,” before any benefits at all are paid. With serious illness or disability, impoverishment can strike even affluent couples.
Lamson & Cutner’s lawyers have ready solutions to prevent these unfortunate results. With advance planning, each person can retain the benefit of the money, income and assets it has taken a lifetime to accumulate.
Financial Hurdles LGBT Couples Encounter
As with all unmarried couples, Medicaid will treat each member of a LGBT relationship as a single individual. In 2015, a single person will not qualify for benefits if the value of his or her assets exceeds $14,850. Any financial resources beyond this threshold will have to be spent before eligibility for Medicaid can be established.
Rates for either home or nursing facility care in New York are extraordinarily high. They can quickly consume existing monetary resources. In addition, in some circumstances, Medicaid can assert a lien against the Medicaid recipient’s home in order to recover the cost of the benefits it provides. Often, these realities rapidly create emergency financial circumstances when significant infirmity is involved.
Beyond the partnership itself, economic situations of this nature present a special problem for LGBT couples who have adopted children. How do you go about protecting a child’s future when facing economic calamity?
A Lamson & Cutner lawyer can give you answers and approaches for these issues…
Solutions for LGBT Relationships
When home care is needed, there is a specific sequence of asset protection planning steps that is effective in guarding your money, income and assets from Medicaid “spend down” regulations. You can learn more about them by clicking here.
If your partner or you need to enter a nursing facility, there are specific methods to preserve at least a significant potion of vital financial resources. That means funds can be available to make the nursing home resident’s stay as pleasant as possible, and to maintain the integrity of the well partner’s lifestyle and personal dignity.
Lamson & Cutner Successfully Represents Members of the LGBT Community
Here’s an excellent example of how Lamson & Cutner addresses challenges of concern to the LGBT community, using precise and powerful strategies to safeguard finances and quality-of-life for each member of a same sex or transgender relationship:
L & C assisted a man in his mid-40’s who was legally married to his same-sex partner, and who later became a quadriplegic as a result of a spinal cord injury. L & C assisted this couple with spousal planning strategies that allowed the disabled spouse to receive Medicaid benefits while he was in a nursing home following his injury. Part of L & C’s strategy involved making transfers of assets from the disabled spouse to the well spouse. Even though the transfers were within the “look back” period, they were exempt of any Medicaid penalty because the couple was legally married. As a result, the disabled spouse’s care was covered by Medicaid, and the couple’s assets were preserved. (A well spouse should be aware that, if the assets held by him or her exceed a certain amount, he or she may become subject to a claim for contribution by Medicaid. In such circumstances, additional planning steps are needed.)
For a more complete explanation of how Elder Law techniques can help protect your money, home, lifestyle and dignity, simply download Lamson & Cutner’s new Special Report, 25 Strategies to Prevent Financial Ruin from Long-Term Health Care Costs.