Monday, March 12, 2007

Is Medicaid Planning Elder Abuse?

According to the article: "We are being reminded constantly that the older generation is the fastest growing section of the U.S. population. As prosecutors, we need to take heed of the various statistics so that we can prepare now to meet the challenges of responding to the needs of a graying society. WITHIN FIVE YEARS, THE TERM ELDER ABUSE WILL BE AS FAMILIAR AS SPOUSAL ABUSE AND CHILD ABUSE ARE NOW."

That is startling in itself, but look what Mr. Greenwood lists among his examples of financial abuse of the elderly:

  • "Theft of assets such as savings, stocks, or real property by use of a power of attorney or quitclaim deed." and

  • "Exchanging the senior's assets in return for a false promise of 'life time care.'"

Florida attorneys Nicola Boone and Scott Solkoff recommended the 'Personal Care Contract,' a legal device whereby adult children promise to take care of an ailing parent in exchange for an early inheritance of his or her life's savings. When and if nursing home care becomes necessary, Medicaid eligibility is obviously no problem because the parent is now indigent. We questioned the ethics of this technique.

If an elder law attorney charges $275 an hour to impoverish an ailing senior artificially it elder abuse?

Is a well-to-do, but cognitively impaired, senior victimized by being placed in a welfare home when he or she could have afforded home care or assisted living ....

These are questions we would like to hear advocates of Medicaid estate planning answer.

Article abridged and edited for brevity the article in its entirety archived here >>

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