1. See a New York Elder Law Attorney Immediately:
    Once a definite diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia has been made get the best care available, then set up a consultation with an Elder Law firm. The sooner you start planning, the more of your money and assets can be preserved. If you wait, it’s still possible to retain the benefit of a significant portion of your funds and property. However, you may end up relinquishing half or more, which could have been sheltered had you acted sooner.
  2. Use Proven Asset Protection Strategies:
    There’s a number of techniques for safeguarding your reserves and the assets you’ve worked a lifetime to acquire. All of these are situation-specific, and you’ll need the assistance of an experienced Medicaid attorney to structure a plan that delivers the best possible result. Some lawyers have a more aggressive approach in applying various Elder Law strategies. You’ll generally be safest with a firm whose philosophy is more conservative, and relies on well-established, time-tested methods.
  3. Get Everything Organized:
    Gather together all records, statements and other papers related to your finances, including your bank accounts, stocks and other investments, IRA or pension, insurance, and Social Security, for the last five years. Put all the information in a file, with the most recent material first. This will help your Elder Law attorney get your work done more quickly.
  4. Have Properly Drafted Advance Directives In Place:
    Because Alzheimer’s disease and all dementia-related illness erode the ability of sufferers to make decisions on their own behalf, it’s essential for a trusted person to be able to act for you. In order for your trusted agents to take the necessary steps to protect your interests, they must have the legal authority to do so. The documents that give these permissions are called Advance Directives. These are important legal papers, and require a knowledgeable Elder Law attorney to craft the appropriate language for your particular situation and preferences.
  5. Address Potential Estate Issues Right Now:
    Elder law, estate planning and tax issues are almost invariably intertwined for many clients. This is especially true when existing assets have to be available for the financial support of a spouse or disabled child, both now and after you pass on. Effective prior planning allows you to gain the optimal financial result possible for your wife or husband, and eventual heirs.
  6. Plan On Staying In New York:
    In contrast to most other states, New York is particularly generous when it comes to Medicaid benefits. Certain advantages are available in New York that cannot be obtained anywhere else in the United States. Since Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be very expensive illnesses to manage and treat, you’ll generally gain the maximum financial advantages by continuing to reside in New York.
  7. Get Professional Follow-Up:
    Once you’re eligible for Medicaid benefits, you will need to be recertified every year. Without proper handling, payment of benefits could be disrupted. Consequently, it’s best to get a qualified New York Elder Law firm to assist you with professional preparation of the annual recertification application.