The appointment ‘blurb’ in my calendar says, “Cindy Swanson and Cheryl Flinster. To discuss Medicaid and asset protection for Cheryl and Ron Flinster. Cindy is their daughter and Ron is in rehab.”
Two days before the appointment we receive an email. “Sorry, need to cancel. Mom is not feeling well and Dad is not improving. In fact, he may not live more than a few months.”
Six weeks later we read Ron’s obituary. Two weeks later Cindy reschedules an appointment for her mother and her to “regroup now that Dad has passed.”
Cheryl tells me that she is very concerned about protecting the house and a tract of land, as well as about $150,000 “in case I need to go into a nursing home like Ron.” Cheryl also tells me she is not in good health.
Because I’m a nice guy, I don’t have the heart to tell them that had they come in before Ron passed we could have pursued a strategy that would have protected everything they owned and Cheryl wouldn’t be sitting there worrying about “protecting everything.”
You see, the Medicaid rules are structured such that it is MUCH easier for a married couple to undertake asset protection planning than for a single person (for example, a widow).
It doesn’t mean the single person is out of luck, but it does mean he or she doesn’t have as many options as a married couple.
Of course, I feel for Cheryl. She simply didn’t know. But now YOU do.
It is tempting to treat a lawyer (and a dentist) as a “round tuit.” Human nature, I guess. But RESIST the urge. Time is your friend if you use it wisely.
Have a great Thanksgiving.
PS We’re seeing clients in BOTH Charlotte and Asheboro (hint, hint).