Elder law attorney dispels myths, answers questions about nursing home Medicaid
By Natalie Bailey
As individuals and families plan long-term care for loved ones, the process can spark a number of questions. Certified elder law attorney Monica Franklin has answers in the newly released second edition of her free book, “Saving Momma’s Home.”
In the book, Franklin, principal at Monica Franklin & Associates Elder Law in Knoxville, helps readers understand the basics of the Medicaid application process and how estate recovery works.
As she guides readers using easy-to-understand examples, Franklin shares insights about how a nursing home patient can qualify for Medicaid and what Medicaid rules say about the family home.
“My goal with ‘Saving Momma’s Home’ is to help people navigate the maze of long-term care planning for loved ones,” Franklin said. “Through our expertise and examples, readers will understand more about the process and how a certified elder law attorney can help them protect the family home and other financial resources while securing needed care.”
The first edition of “Saving Momma’s Home” was published in 2011. Modifications in the law necessitated a revised edition. The updated book addresses changes to:
–Probate estates: Previously, the Bureau of TennCare was required to file a claim in the probate estate within one year following the death of the Medicaid recipient in order to recover costs paid out for care. State law has lifted the one-year statute of limitations for TennCare to apply to recover funds.
–Revocable trusts: Individuals and families formerly were able to preserve the family home from TennCare estate recovery by transferring it to a revocable trust. However, TennCare now may recover against the home, even when it is held in a revocable trust.
–Choices Act updates: The Choices Act was signed into law in 2008 and its application to Choices applicants has evolved since the first edition of “Saving Momma’s Home.” Today, a person may receive Medicaid benefits to pay for care at home and in some assisted living facilities, rather than in a nursing home.
“I want people to have this free resource so they know there are options when planning long-term care to protect loved ones and their assets,” Franklin said. “A certified elder law attorney will guide clients through those options. People do not have to make this journey alone.”
A copy of the book can be picked up at Franklin’s office at 4931 Homberg Drive, Knoxville or downloaded at MonicaFranklinElderLaw.com.