Estate Planning and Elder Law: Why Proactive Planning is Essential for Medicaid Eligibility

Understanding the Importance of Early Estate Planning Estate planning, particularly with an elder law focus, is a critical aspect that many families overlook until it's almost too late. A common scenario we encounter at Godbey Law is families contacting us just before a loved one, such as a parent, enters a nursing home. Often, the primary concern is to transfer the deed of the house to a family member to ensure the loved one qualifies for Medicaid. This last-minute rush is fraught with misconceptions and potential pitfalls, particularly regarding Medicaid's look-back period and the enforcement of liens. The Myth of Immediate Asset Transfers A prevalent myth is that transferring a property right before a loved one enters a nursing home will help them qualify for Medicaid without repercussions. Unfortunately, this belief can lead to significant legal and financial challenges. Medicaid has a strict five-year look-back period during which any transfer of assets can be scrutinized. If any such transfers are found within this period, the individual may face penalties, including a delay in Medicaid eligibility. Ohio Medicaid and Estate Recovery What many people don’t realize is that Ohio Medicaid aggressively pursues estate recovery. This means that even if the deed [...]

June 21, 2024|Categories: Elder Law, Estate Planning|

Dog Bite Incidents: Legal Steps to Take After an Attack

Dog bites can be traumatic and lead to significant physical and emotional injuries. In the aftermath of such an incident, it's crucial to understand the legal steps you should take to protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Here, we'll outline the essential actions to take after a dog bite attack and explain how Godbey Law LLC can assist you in navigating this challenging situation. 1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention Your health and safety are the top priorities after a dog bite. Even if the wound seems minor, seek medical attention immediately. Dog bites can lead to severe infections, and medical professionals can properly clean and treat the wound, reducing the risk of complications. Additionally, obtaining medical records serves as crucial evidence should you pursue a legal claim. 2. Report the Incident Reporting the dog bite to local authorities, such as animal control or the police, is essential. This step not only ensures the incident is documented but also helps prevent future attacks by the same animal. Authorities will typically investigate the incident, which can provide additional evidence for your case. 3. Gather Information and Evidence Collect as much information as possible about the incident. This [...]

June 4, 2024|Categories: Dog Bites, Personal Injury|

Important Information for Veterans with VA Loans: Foreclosure Moratorium Ending Soon

Godbey Law is committed to protecting Veterans' rights, including their right to stay in their homes. Some Veterans who have home loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) could face foreclosure very soon. What is Happening? The temporary pause on foreclosures for VA loans, implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic's economic hardship, is coming to an end on May 31, 2024. This moratorium, originally intended to provide relief to struggling Veterans, will expire after nearly two and a half years. What Does This Mean for You? If you are a Veteran facing difficulty making payments on your VA loan, it's crucial to take action before May 31st. Here's why: Foreclosure Risk: After May 31st, if you haven't brought your loan current, your mortgage servicer could initiate foreclosure proceedings. This can lead to losing your home. We Can Help: Godbey Law has extensive experience with bankruptcy and foreclosure. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The thought of bankruptcy or being overwhelmed by debt can be a terrifying experience. However, the sooner you take action to resolve the issue, the better off you will be. Too many people [...]

May 22, 2024|Categories: Bankruptcy|

Estate Planning: Strategies to Protect Assets from Nursing Home Costs

As Baby Boomers age, a critical aspect of estate planning is ensuring that their assets—and potentially their parents’ assets—are protected in the event of long-term care needs, such as nursing home care. This article outlines key strategies that can help avoid the costly pitfall of having to surrender assets to cover nursing home costs, while complying with current laws and IRS guidelines. Understanding Medicaid Eligibility and Asset Protection Medicaid plays a pivotal role in long-term care financing but comes with strict asset and income limits. Planning strategies can help meet these limits without jeopardizing eligibility. For instance, certain types of trusts and annuities can be structured to protect assets while still maintaining Medicaid eligibility. Notably, irrevocable trusts can shield assets from being counted towards Medicaid’s asset limits, thus protecting them from potential recovery actions after the beneficiary’s death. Utilizing Trusts and Annuities Setting up an irrevocable trust is a popular strategy. Assets placed in such trusts are not considered the owner's property for Medicaid purposes, hence they are protected from claims by nursing homes​​. Similarly, certain types of annuities can convert countable assets into a stream of income, which may not affect Medicaid eligibility​. Life Estate and Real Estate Considerations [...]

May 2, 2024|Categories: Estate Planning|

Navigating Breakups Beyond “Yours & Mine”: Partition Actions for Unmarried Couples

Love can blossom anywhere, and sometimes, couples choose to build lives together without tying the knot. While this path offers freedom and flexibility, it also presents unique challenges when the relationship ends. One such challenge involves dividing jointly acquired assets, especially when ownership isn't explicitly defined. This is where partition actions come in, offering a legal framework for resolving property disputes between unmarried couples. Let's face it: breakups are hard enough without the added stress of figuring out who gets what. If you and your ex co-owned property, furniture, vehicles, or other valuable items, partition actions can provide a structured and potentially amicable way to divide belongings fairly. Here's why you might need a partition action: You co-purchased a house or car. You jointly invested in furniture, artwork, or other valuables. You inherited property together but aren't married. You shared business ventures or jointly owned assets during your relationship. Key points to remember: Unmarried couples don't have the same automatic property rights as married couples. There's no "community property" concept, so ownership defaults to whoever's name is on the title or documentation. Verbal agreements or "gentleman's agreements" rarely hold up in court. Clear documentation or proof of financial contributions is [...]

Student Loan Repayment Confusion: Don’t Miss Out on Potential Relief!

Feeling lost in the maze of student loan repayment options? You're not alone. With the Department of Education's recent changes to repayment plans and upcoming adjustments in July, navigating the landscape can be overwhelming. This is where we come in. Remember the November 2023 Enrollment for Income-Driven Repayment (IDR)? If you haven't yet, enrolling in an IDR plan is crucial. This program bases your monthly payments on your income and family size, potentially providing significant relief. However, a new adjustment is coming in July 2024. While the details are still unfolding, it's imperative to enroll in an IDR plan by June 30th, 2024, to ensure a smooth transition and avoid potential financial penalties. Why is this relevant to you? Even if you're managing your loans currently, the upcoming changes might significantly impact your repayment terms. Understanding your options and proactively taking action can save you money and stress in the long run. Where can we help? Our law firm's Bankruptcy and Consumer Debtor Practice team is well-versed in navigating the complexities of student loan debt. We offer: Comprehensive review of your current loan situation and repayment options. Guidance on enrolling in the most suitable IDR plan based on your individual [...]

February 21, 2024|Categories: Bankruptcy|Tags: |

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