Do I Need a Medicaid Attorney?

by Bill
(Iowa)

My mother is going into a nursing home. It would be helpful financially to her and her family if she could qualify for medicaid and medicaid paid the costs.


She is beginning the process of applying for medicaid and we are trying to help. But, it is hard to understand all the questions on the forms.

My mom owns a house, car, and has a bank account and some investments. Obviously, she does not want to have to go bankrupt before medicaid kicks in.

We plan to go into the medicaid office to ask for help filling out the paperwork, but just wondered if it would be better to get a lawyer to do it?

Any ideas?



Editor's Note:

Bill, thanks for the question. You ask a pretty common question. And, really, it would be very rare that I would be comfortable saying anything other than that you should talk to a qualified estate planning attorney in your area who has knowledge and experience with medicaid qualification.

Medicaid rules are complex and vary from state to state. They also frequently change.

I believe it would be well worth your while to at least discuss your family's situation with an attorney. Even if you have to spend some money up front for an initial consultation, the guidance you receive will likely pay off in spades.

You can discuss with your attorney what services he or she can provide and whether you could do some of those things yourself on a more cost-effective basis. Then you can make an informed decision about what's required and whether it will be "worth it" to have the attorney do some or all of the work.

I hope that answers your question.

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Marquette, Michigan
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