For your convenience, our most common questions are answered right here.

Q: A loved one just entered a nursing home and I was told that I need to “spend down” assets before he or she will qualify for Medicaid.  Is the only way to spend down assets to pay the nursing home bill every month?

A: No.  Contrary to popular belief, there are many ways to properly “spend down” assets that do not involve writing a check to the nursing home every month.  Some methods are easy while other methods are extremely complex.  To further complicate matters, you may benefit from one of many exceptions that exist under the Medicaid laws.  If you are interested in engaging in nursing home planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection, then please contact Sturgul & Long for a consultation today.

Q: My parent just entered a nursing home in one of your service areas and I am interested in retaining your services for nursing home planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection.  However, I am located out of state.  Is it possible to have a consultation over the phone?

A: Absolutely.  We are more than happy to accommodate you by scheduling a telephone conference.  Please contact Sturgul & Long to request a telephone conference at your convenience.

Q: I am able to obtain free information from the nursing home social worker and the county social services office.  Why should I hire an elder law attorney?

A: Free information from the nursing home and the county social services office is just that–free.  Such entities have a vested interest in making certain that you pay the nursing home at the private pay rate for as long as possible.  Furthermore, those entities offering free information will not give you any legal advice and they will not help you engage in asset protection.  Additionally, from our experience, it is not uncommon for those entities to sometimes provide individuals with improper advice.  If you are interested in nursing home planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection, then contact Sturgul & Long for a consultation today.

Q: Is just any attorney qualified to help my family with nursing home planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection?

A: Generally speaking, no.  Most general practitioners do not have the requisite skill set to engage in nursing home planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection. Nursing home planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection is an extremely complicated area of the law.  It is further complicated by the fact that there are numerous exceptions to the rules–some of which may be beneficial to you and your family.  Nevertheless, there are rarely easy answers to questions on the topic of Medicaid.  Although the Medicaid process should be the same throughout the state, our office often encounters that some counties may do things differently than other counties.  Because of these complexities, there tend to be very few attorneys that actively practice nursing home planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection.  If you desire to engage in any nursing home planning or Medicaid planning to preserve and protect assets, then be certain to hire an attorney that frequently practices in this area of the law.

At Sturgul & Long, our elder law attorneys spend roughly half of their time engaging in nursing home planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection.  To keep abreast of the frequent changes in these laws, the attorneys at Sturgul & Long spend a great deal of time attending and speaking at conferences.  Before retaining an attorney to assist with nursing home and Medicaid planning, the attorneys at Sturgul & Long strongly recommend that you consider hiring an attorney with a proven track record in this area of the law–to do otherwise may end up costing you and your family tens of thousands of dollars.  Therefore, you should be extremely cautious of any general practitioner that holds himself or herself out as someone who can help you with nursing home planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection.  The truth is that very few attorneys practice in this area of the law because of its many complexities.  If you are interested in nursing home planning, Medicaid planning, and asset protection, then contact Sturgul & Long for a consultation today.

Q: Why should I pay an attorney for estate planning documents when I can find them online for a reduced price?

A: When you procure documents online, you are not getting the advice of a qualified attorney. Such documents may not be appropriate for you and may in fact end up costing you or your estate more in the long-term. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you desire to meet with a qualified attorney, please contact us to schedule a consultation.

Q: I am an existing client and I want to make some changes to my estate plan. Will I be charged for the changes I want to make?

A: Yes. Just like any other attorney, we do need to charge for the time we spend on your case.