fbpx

The Dangers of Free Advice.

by: Aaron Paker

This month in Crisis Corner, I want to discuss the dangers of free advice. As a Medicaid planner, one of the most common phrases I hear from clients is “I was told….” On a few occasions the things people were told was pretty good advice. On most occasions the advice ranges from inaccurate but harmless to potentially devastating if followed.

One such potential bear trap that I recently heard was made worse because it came from a source that you would expect to be trustworthy, HUD (the department of Housing and Urban Development). Without sharing too many details, a HUD employee learned that one of my clients was taking his mother off the Title on the house that they own together. He told them that she was coming off of Title to avoid Medicaid estate recovery, but taking her off the Title would affect a mortgage. The government employee told my client that a simple quit claim deed would block estate recovery and, since quit claim deeds do not affect Title, the mortgage would be fine. For those of you not in the legal world, I can tell you simply that the one and only purpose of a quit claim deed is to change Title. If my client had taken this advice he would have been blindsided by the loss of the mortgage.

HUD workers are not the only guilty parties. Most of the advice comes from well-meaning family and friends. Some comes from Wikipedia or Google searches that turn up information that may be accurate, but is hard to interpret without experience working with the rules and regulations. Some come from people who should know better, like the Auditor’s office (I have been given a lot of free legal advice while recording deeds and it always comes from a person with a large sign on their desk that says “WE CANNOT PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE”), a nursing home administrator, or an in-home care provider.

If you have been paying for care for your loved one, the last two sources are likely the ones you are most familiar with and the ones you should be most wary of. The tendency of most nursing homes in Washington, in my experience, is to tell loved ones not to worry, they will submit a Medicaid application for you. They then submit an application that is based on partial information, without any attention paid to whether your loved one is remotely qualified for benefits. Then, after a month or two of waiting for an answer, you receive a letter explaining the 15 reasons your loved one was denied benefits. In many of those cases, they could have been qualified with a week or two of close work with a trained Elder Law Attorney. Instead, months of benefits are lost to the good intentions of the nursing home.

Here is the quick and easy rule of thumb to remember about legal advice about Medicaid. If it is not coming from an Elder Law Attorney, you should not rely on it. There is a reason that so many of these government and care facility employees have signs about not providing legal advice.

When you are ready for real legal advice about planning for Medicaid benefits, give me a call and let’s talk.

6 thoughts on “The Dangers of Free Advice.”

  1. Link exchange is nothing else however it is just placing the other person’s webpage link on your page at
    appropriate place and other person will also
    do same for you. asmr 0mniartist

    Reply
  2. Why visitors still make use of to read news papers when in this technological world all is available on web?
    asmr 0mniartist

    Reply
  3. Good day very nice site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful ..
    I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also? I’m glad to seek out a lot of helpful information right here in the post,
    we want develop more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . . 0mniartist asmr

    Reply
  4. I’ve Ƅeen еxрloring f᧐r a ⅼittle for any high-ԛualіty articles
    or weblog posts on this sort of house . Explօring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this weeb site.
    Studying this info So i am hapрy too convey tһat I һave a very
    good uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I most undoubtedly will make
    syre to do not fail to remember this website and provides it a glance on a reⅼentlesѕ basis.

    Take a look at my bⅼog: payday loan companies

    Reply

Leave a Comment