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Understanding Elder Law in Michigan

You may have heard the term “Elder Law” and wondered what it meant. Michigan elder law attorneys help create a legal plan to protect your assets and ensure your wishes are met in your golden years of life. There are several challenges our aging population faces today, including the high cost of long-term care. A Michigan elder law lawyer can help you, or a loved one, finance care with a minimal impact on your assets – for example, protecting your home. As you or a loved one ages, the need for care shifts and preparing for elder care in Michigan can be overwhelming. If you or a loved one start planning early, you will have more options for future care needs in Michigan.

Elder law encompasses many different fields of law whose primary objective is to assist our growing elderly population. Some common areas of elder law that a Michigan lawyer can help with include:

  • Asset Protection
  • Long-term Care Planning
  • Medicaid Planning
  • Medicaid Crisis Planning
  • Veterans Benefits – Aid and Attendance

Several challenges can arise for the elderly and those who support their well-being. As you age and your health care needs shift, the preparation of elder care planning can be overwhelming. In general, the earlier you begin planning, the more options you will have for future care. The consequences of procrastinating or ignoring the realities of aging almost always result in challenging outcomes for you and your family members and often prevent you from making your own health care decisions.

What is Long-Term Care Planning in Michigan?

As people age into their golden years, long-term care planning will help them prepare for the high cost of health care services. Proper long-term care planning can help you avoid the drain health care will have on your hard-earned savings and assets you may have planned to pass down to family members.

Long-term care is intended to meet health needs for an extended time. Aging Americans who can no longer perform daily tasks and activities on their own can benefit from these long-term care benefits so that they can live as independently as possible. A long-term care planning attorney can help you or a loved one strategize for long-term care needs in Michigan.

Understanding Michigan Medicaid Planning

Are you confused about Medicaid? You are not alone! Medicaid coverage is complicated — there’s no way around that simple fact.

Medicaid is a Federally funded and State administered program. There is a great deal of variation in the rules for Medicaid eligibility between states. If you reside in Michigan and need Medicaid, Michigan’s Medicaid state rules apply.

Medicaid can pay for care both in the home and in a nursing home. Our attorneys work diligently to ensure that our clients remain in their home as comfortably as possible for as long as possible by navigating the complex eligibility requirements of Medicaid.

Currently, the average cost of nursing home care in Michigan is almost $9,000 per month. Very few people can afford this expense, so Medicaid is often needed to pay these costs. To qualify for Medicaid in Michigan, you must meet distinct asset and income requirements. These eligibility requirements can be met by strategic legal planning with a Michigan Medicaid planning attorney, like the attorneys at Malicoat Law.

Understanding Michigan Medicaid Eligibility

Many people misunderstand Michigan Medicaid rules and regulations because of the complexities of Medicaid eligibility. Misinformation has also circulated on this subject. The families of senior citizens in Michigan should only seek legal advice about Medicaid coverage from qualified and experienced Michigan elder law attorneys.

It can be challenging to navigate Medicaid eligibility on your own. However, there are many options to protect your assets while still becoming eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid rules are dependent on many factors. There are a few factors to consider, such as whether you are single or married and if you are applying for nursing home or home care. You or a loved one can benefit greatly from an experienced Michigan Medicaid planning attorney, like the attorneys at Malicoat Law. They understand Michigan’s specific Medicaid application, the approval process and can tailor your Medicaid plan to your financial and health care needs.

What are Michigan’s Medicaid Qualification Requirements?

To receive Medicaid benefits in Michigan, you or a loved one must meet eligibility requirements. To qualify for benefits, you must:

  • Be over the age of 65; or
  • Be blind or disabled; or
  • Have a child, parent, or spouse in your household who is blind or disabled

Without the assistance of Medicaid coverage in Michigan, you or a loved one will be held financially responsible for the monthly care costs. Our Midland, MI law firm can assist you or a loved one in protecting your savings from being spent down on the high costs of long-term care in Michigan.

Michigan Annual Median Cost of Care (2020)


Homemaker Services $54,912 Adult Day Health Care $24,960 Semi-Private Room $107,675
Home Health Aide $57,200 Assisted Living Facility $50,400 Private Room $116,800


Understanding Michigan Medicaid Crisis Planning

Medicaid crisis planning in Michigan refers to planning for eligibility for Medicaid when a person is experiencing an immediate or near immediate health care crisis. If you or a loved one find themselves in serious need of Medicaid coverage, legal guidance from a Michigan Medicaid planning lawyer can help. At Malicoat Law, our Midland attorneys can identify significant estate issues that will disqualify you from Medicaid coverage and rapidly develop a Medicaid plan to address your healthcare needs.

It may not be necessary to get long-term care right away. However, you may want to plan ahead in order to receive future care at home or at a Michigan nursing home. Therefore, this situation can be classified as non-crisis planning or advanced Medicaid planning. Overall, planning for future care is the most effective way to prevent your assets from being drained by long-term care costs. Whatever stage of the planning process you or someone you love is at for long-term care planning in Michigan, Malicoat Law is here to help.

Understanding Veterans Planning in Michigan

Veteran law and benefits can be challenging to navigate. Still, our law firm understands Veteran’s benefits and the value of incorporating VA planning into your estate plan and long-term care planning goals.

Understanding Eligibility Requirements for Veterans Benefits

Veteran health care benefits in Midland, MI, are available if you served in the active military, naval, or air force services and did not receive a dishonorable discharge. The eligibility requirements for VA benefits include:

  • Veterans engaged in war-time services are eligible, and they are generally more expansive than most people would associate with the beginning and conclusion of the war. These dates are as follows:
    • World War II:  12/7/1941-12/31/1946
    • Korean War: 6/27/1950-1/31/1955
    • Vietnam War: 2/28/1961-5/7/75, if served in the country of Vietnam, otherwise 8/5/1964 – 5/7/1975
    • Persian Gulf: 8/2/90- Date to be announced
  • Suppose you enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981. In that case, you must have served 24 continuous months or the entire period for which you were called to active duty unless any of the described situations below are accurate.

The minimum duty requirement may not apply if any of these are accurate. You:

  • Were discharged for a disability that was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service, or
  • Were discharged for a hardship or “early out,” or
  • Served before September 7, 1980
  • If you’re a current or former member of the Reserve or National Guard, you must have been called to active duty by a federal order and completed the whole period for which you were on active duty.

Malicoat Law can assist with the Veteran’s benefits application process in Michigan. You may not qualify for Veteran’s benefits if you own too many assets. Having an experienced Michigan Veteran law attorney on your side can help navigate your application and qualifications by moving your assets into a trust.

Understanding Aid and Attendance for Michigan Veterans

If a Michigan Veteran or spouse has a medical condition that causes them to struggle with their day-to-day tasks and meet the income requirements, they are eligible to receive the VA’s Improved Pension. The Improved Pension ranges from $1,100 to $2,200 monthly, covering nursing care expenses, home care, or assisted living.

Understanding Veterans Aid and Attendance Eligibility

If you receive a VA pension and meet the eligibility requirements, you or a loved one may be eligible for VA Aid and Attendance benefits in Michigan.

At least one of the requirements listed below must be true to qualify for Aid and Attendance:

  • You need another person to help you perform daily activities, like bathing, feeding, and dressing, or
  • You have to stay in bed—or spend a large portion of the day in bed—because of illness, or
  • You are a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability, or
  • Your eyesight is limited (even with glasses or contact lenses, you have only 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less)

One important consideration with VA benefits planning is that it can drastically impact your eligibility for Medicaid. As such, if you’re dealing with VA benefits, you’re also dealing with Medicaid. It would be best to seek legal advice from an attorney specializing in Medicaid and VA planning, like the attorneys at Malicoat Law.

Why Do You Need an Elder Law Attorney on Your Side?

An elder law attorney is an attorney who specializes in a specific area of the law focusing on the legal needs of older adults, Veterans, and adults with special needs. As our life expectancy increases, people are dealing with rising health care costs and an increase in debilitating diseases like dementia, among many issues that affect the aging members of our society. An elder law attorney can help address these rising issues.

Your Michigan Elder Law Attorney

A Midland attorney, Geoff Malicoat of Malicoat Law, helps clients better understand Michigan Medicaid and creates custom plans to prevent long-term care from eroding their life savings. With the help of our Michigan law firm, you or a loved one can create a plan that avoids or minimizes the need to spend assets before qualifying for Medicaid.

Malicoat Law is here to help you and your loved ones understand estate planning, elder law, business planning, probate, and trust administration. Our Midland law firm welcomes the opportunity to consult with new clients in Midland and surrounding Michigan areas to learn more about how we can help meet your Medicaid planning legal needs.

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