Just as you can represent yourself in a courtroom without counsel, you can also handle the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) application process without counsel. However, neither is usually wise or likely to result in the best outcome for you. While we all want to save money where possible, ALTCS benefits is not the area to apply the DIY approach. Applying for ALTCS without the advice or assistance of an elder law attorney may result in missed opportunities to protect assets, delays in approval, or denial of ALTCS benefits altogether- all of which actually costs more out-of-pocket in the end.  Anyone currently receiving skilled care, assisted living, adult home care, home health care, or who may be in the future — and is concerned about affording such care– should seek the legal advice of an elder law attorney with knowledge and experience in Medicaid planning. Note, Medicare has very limited long-term care benefits (100 days maximum in skilled nursing facilities) and no benefit paid for memory care, assisted living, or on-going non-medical home health care.  As such, ALTCS benefits can be vital to affording qualified long term care services whether at home or in a facility setting. Proper legal advice can make the difference between impoverishment and financial stability in the face of long-term care expenses.

Call Bivens and Associates to schedule an appointment in the following circumstances:
1. You need an Income Only Trust (aka “Miller Trust”);
2. You own real property;
3. You have any amount of “excess” countable resources that you wish to preserve;
4. You are considering making a gift or transfer of assets, or the ALTCS applicant has made a gift or transfer in the last 5 years;
5. You have already submitted an ALTCS application and were denied;
6. The ALTCS applicant is married and preservation of assets is desirable to provide for the “well-spouse”;
7. You would like to protect your real property against AHCCCS TEFRA lien and/or estate recovery rights;
8. You want your ALTCS application to be approved. 

Some believe they will save money by not paying a lawyer when the opposite is true; it will cost you more not to obtain the right legal advice.  While social workers or others who work with seniors may offer to help, elder law requires an understanding of many legal issues affecting seniors and their families, and special knowledge regarding other vital resources and public and private services that can help meet the needs of seniors, including those with disabilities. 

Elder law includes, but is not limited to the following: 

  1. estate planning, 
  2. probate and trust administration, 
  3. long term care planning, 
  4. asset protection planning,
  5. guardianships or conservatorships, 
  6. financial exploitation, 
  7. public benefits (including VA Aid & Attendance Pension, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security), and 
  8. fiduciary representation. 

Elder law attorneys work with a network of other professionals: care managers, placement professionals, physicians, realtors, CPAs, financial advisors, licensed fiduciaries, banks, and trust companies as the quarterback of the professional team to meet clients’ individual needs.  The value of comprehensive legal advice resulting in saving time and stress, preservation of assets, consideration of all options available to finance and receive long term care, and achieving best outcome always outweighs the actual legal fees incurred.    

The goal of ALTCS planning is to achieve the best outcome medically, socially, and financially for the applicant.  The return on investment by paying for proper legal advice is invaluable for ALTCS applicants.  Our law firm has helped hundreds of clients qualify for ALTCS while saving millions of dollars and advising families on best care options. Whether you want planning in advance of the long term care needs or are currently in need, call our office at 480-922-1010 or email info@bivenslaw.com to schedule your appointment to learn all the facts and achieve the best outcome for yourself or your loved one.