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To give or not to give? That is the question

A previous post on this blog urged Rochester, New York, residents who were thinking about drafting a will to resist the temptation to just give away property to his or her loved ones immediately. As that post pointed out, the problem with doing so is that it leaves a person without the ability to control his or her own property. This can be a scary prospect even for families that seem to be loving and close-knit.

However, in contrast to that advice, a Rochester resident who is looking at the possibility of having to stay in a nursing home may have no choice but to start giving away assets and doing so even earlier than what he or she might have wanted. After all, it may be very hard for all but the wealthiest people to pay for nursing home care out of pocket, and so qualifying for Medicaid may be the only realistic option.

Getting on Medicaid comes with its own set of challenges. For one, a person must be of very limited means to get on to the program, as it is designed to help people in serious need and not just middle class folks who don't want to spend their fortunes on medical care in the last years of their lives. More importantly, Medicaid also penalizes those who apply for the program but who had given away substantial wealth immediately prior to doing so.

For a person who foresees needing help from Medicaid in order to have proper elder care, it may be worth the financial risk to give away property to loved ones. Of course, this is a difficult decision which, as already discussed, can easily backfire. It takes careful thought and analysis to balance the good of hanging on to property against the good of planning for long-term care, and this process is often best accomplished with the help of an experienced elder law attorney.

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    --Robert and Christine Simonson, Fairport
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    — Christine and Robert Simonson, Fairport
  • I have been working with Weinstein & Randisi for about two years now. Elizabeth Randisi, through a very thorough process, has helped my wife and me determine what is really important in our lives. Thus, we were able to draft a living will that reflected our most important values regarding our estate.

    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
  • I would like to give a testimony for Elizabeth Randisi, an estate attorney with Weinstein & Randisi. Her knowledge of wills and estate planning was clearly demonstrated in her presentation to us. Realizing our need for a will, my husband and I went to see Elizabeth.

    --Kathy and Gary Gray, Webster
  • Filing for Medicaid is never an easy or fun process. However, working with the Weinstein & Randisi firm made the process simple and streamlined. We were able to obtain all files and records regarding Medicaid enrollment within a few days using specially prepared checklists and verbiage recommended by our assigned paralegal.

    --Ajia and David Cherry, Fairport
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290 Linden Oaks, Ste. 200
Rochester, NY 14625

Toll Free: 800-768-1780
Phone: 585-310-1578
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