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Streamline your financial affairs. If you apply for nursing home care either now or in the future, Medicaid will request detailed information about your prior financial transactions. Every one of your banking and investment accounts that was open at any time during the “look back” period will be scrutinized. They all need to be documented on your application. Medicaid will want to see if you transferred any of your money or assets to others.

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That means if you have many accounts, preparing your application becomes a lot more complicated and time-consuming for you and your attorney. It’s likely to increase the amount of your legal fees. Many banks offer gifts and other incentives to open an account. Some people create numerous accounts, even though they may not have a substantial amount of money, or adequate financial justification. If you don’t need the additional accounts for a good reason, close them. When it comes to dealing with Medicaid, the cleaner and simpler, the better.

Also, the process of gaining approval for Medicaid benefits, and protecting your assets, will be considerably faster and easier if you organize your records. In particular, this includes bank accounts, IRA’s, annuities, stocks and bonds, certificates of deposit, Keogh plans, money market and mutual funds, insurance policies, tax returns with 1099 and K-1 forms, pension information, and Social Security award letters.

The best system is to place each of the last five years’ of records from each financial institution in its own file. Arrange each category of statements chronologically, from the oldest to the most recent.

If you do nothing else, then at least throw all statements and receipts for each year in a box or folder. This way you’ll have a basic annual level of organization, and have all of the documents that may be needed later on.


25 Strategies to Prevent Financial Ruin from Long-Term Health Care Costs

  1. You can qualify for Medicaid (even if you don’t think so)
  2. The “Wait and See” Approach can Result in Ruinous Health Care Expenses.
  3. Plan for Home Care and Nursing Home Facility Care while You Still Can.
  4. What’s the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
  5. It’s NOT too Late for Effective Medicaid Planning (even if you think it is)
  6. Why Hire an Elder Law Attorney?
  7. Don’t Prepare Your Own Medicaid Application
  8. Trusts Can Protect Your Home and Your Money!
  9. Special Trusts for Specific Purposes
  10. Protecting Co-op Apartments Require Special Handling
  11. Evaluate Your 401k or IRA Carefully when Planning for Medicaid
  12. Why Take the Lump Sum Option on Your Pension or Retirement Account?
  13. Choose Your Trustee Wisely
  14. Private Annuities can Help Protect Your Assets
  15. Caregiver Agreements Help Achieve Medicaid Eligibility
  16. Keep Your Medicare Insurance
  17. The Durable Power of Attorney
  18. Elder Law and Estate Planning
  19. The Health Care Proxy vs. the Living Will
  20. How to Choose an Elder Law Firm
  21. Streamline Your Financial Affairs and Record Keeping
  22. New York State is More Generous than Other States
  23. Your Attorney can Help Find the Best Care for You
  24. Long-Term Care Insurance Won’t Necessarily Solve the Problem
  25. Compassionate Elder Law Planning Focuses on Your Future Quality-of-Life!
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