Planning For Medicaid Long Term Care. The Role of Competency, Guardianship and a Power of Attorney

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann Wright, a Freehold, NJ Medicaid Attorney

A family member of a dear client asked me to provide legal assistance. Here is their situation: Both mom and her step-father are in need of assisted care, and up until now mom has been afraid to give a power of attorney or let anyone manage her finances. Her husband has dementia and cancer, and her doctor is willing to sign off on his incapacity. Her husband needs to be admitted to a care facility and the family member is afraid that her mother’s resources will be quickly depleted by the cost involved for his care and soon, her own.

They are living in a condo in Margate (Cape May County), which the mom owned before marrying her present spouse. As far as I know, mom owns the condo, received some insurance money from her first husband’s estate, and receives a social security pension. Mom has already broken some bones in falls, is in her 80’s (I believe) and is developing dementia to the point where her daughter has had to hire in-home assisted care for her out of her own pocket. The care provider has advised the daughter that both mom and stepdad need to be placed in an assisted care facility.

The daughter wants to understand a QIT (Qualified Income Trust) and how to set one up in order to protect her mom’s assets and qualifying her for Medicaid to get them the care they need.

My response is straight forward. The family’s priorities are out of order. A QIT probably isn’t even a concern (see my page on QITs found on CLICK HERE). Guardianship may need to be established first or at a minimum a Power of Attorney (POA) must be executed by both mom and/or stepdad in order for the daughter to have any legal authority to do anything, no less Medicaid Eligibility planning. If she files for guardianship and wants to move her parents out of state, she will have to file a petition in NJ and in the state of relocation to allow her to move them and that will create more headaches. To learn about interstate guardianships visit (CLICK HERE)

Things are never easy when helping out aging family members.

To discuss your NJ Medicaid matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.