All posts filed under: medicaid

Florida Power of Attorney: What it can do, and what it can’t do.

A Power of Attorney is, generally speaking, the most important document in a comprehensive estate plan.  A Power of Attorney is a legal document that delegates authority from one person to another. The person who makes a Power of Attorney (called the “principal”) grants their agent specified rights to act on the principal’s behalf. The scope of a Power of Attorney can vary widely, as authority is limited to specified acts or authority is broadly bestowed upon the agent to engage in a wide range of action.  Each person’s need for a power of attorney should be assessed under their particular circumstances. If the Power of Attorney is “durable,” then the principal’s authority to act survives incapacity.  In other words, if the principal is injured or unconscious in a way that prevents them from being able to take action individually, the principal’s authority will remain active even under these conditions.  To make a power of attorney durable, a principal simply needs to make that intention known in the wording of the Power of Attorney. A …

Elder Exploitation in Florida

Florida’s Elder Exploitation Law On October 1, 2014, Florida Statute 825.103, entitled “Exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult” took effect.  This law makes it easier to prosecute people who prey on elders and the law increases penalties for crimes against elders. How does the newly revised statute define exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult? The revised statute focuses on financial exploitation of elderly and disabled adults. It targets people who use funds, assets, or property of elderly or disabled adults with the intent to deprive them of the use of those funds, assets or property, or to benefit someone other than the elderly person or disabled adult. It also targets people who breach their fiduciary duties, misappropriate money, and fail to use an elderly person’s or disabled adult’s income and assets for the necessities required for that person’s support and maintenance.  Fiduciary duties can exist where a person, whether related or not to the elderly person, establishes a position of trust with an elderly person and then, using that position, misappropriates funds or …

How to Qualify for Medicaid (and keep your property): Part II

The asset and income restrictions on Medicaid benefits are what bring a great many people to an elder law attorney.  The applicant meets the age, citizenship and other basic requirements for Medicaid benefits, but they nevertheless can’t be immediately qualified because of the limitations on what an applicant can own or earn while receiving Medicaid benefits.  So, what are these limitations? Asset Limits Generally, Medicaid applicants are limited to $2,000 in countable assets. Moreover, if the applicant is married, the applicant’s spouse (who may not be going to live in a long-term care facility) is limited to $119,220 in countable assets for the year 2015. If both spouses need Medicaid, their asset limit is $3,000 total or $1,500 each. And there’s another problem.  With certain exceptions, if the applicant has transferred property or funds in the past five years, that property or those funds are counted in the Medicaid application. The idea of the look-back period is to prevent people from hiding assets or income in order to qualify for Medicaid (in other words, to ensure that Medicaid is …