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Gilbert & Chandler Long-Term Care & Medicaid PlanningWe all like to think we’ll stay fit and healthy. At the same time, we all know the reality.

Those who cope best with this reality are usually the ones who have put careful thought into it well before the time comes.

Long-term healthcare can be very expensive. Planning for this helps you prepare for what is around the corner, making it easier for you, your family, and your estate.

We help you:

  • Help you qualify for long-term healthcare for you or family members, if required
  • Secure a better quality of life in later years
  • Avoid potentially crippling costs

Failing to plan is planning to pay for it later.

Despite the fact that more than two-thirds of Americans aged 65 or older will need long-term care or support in the future, surprisingly few plan for it.

Perhaps that is because only 37 percent of people think they will need it, according to Senior Care.

The average cost of private nursing home care in Arizona is currently around $85,000 per year or over $7,000 per month. Not addressing it can take a hefty toll on your finances.

Arizona is ranked in the top 20 states in the US in terms of the healthcare it provides for seniors, but even costs for nursing care at home are substantial.

Planning ahead can save you from potentially astronomical costs.

Some of the main solutions to consider include:

  • Certain irrevocable trusts: these can protect your assets from long-term care costs
  • Qualifying for Medicaid or Veterans benefits
  • Long-term care insurance 
  • Wealth replacement strategies

What is Medicaid and are you eligible?

The Arizona Medicaid program is officially known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). 

All eligible residents are entitled to elderly and disabled care, including nursing home care, alternative residential care, and community-based services. These are operated on a managed care model. 

Services include:

  • Adult daycare 
  • Behavioral care
  • Care coordination assistance
  • Community transition services 
  • Dental care
  • Durable medical equipment and specialized furniture
  • Home health care
  • Home nursing
  • Homemaker services
  • Hospice care
  • Housekeeping
  • Meal preparation and delivery
  • Personal care / Attendant care
  • Personal emergency response services
  • Physician’s appointments
  • Respite care
  • Transportation assistance – medical 

For high net-worth individuals, Medicaid is unlikely to be an option.

To be eligible for this aid, you must:

  • Be a resident of Arizona 
  • Be aged 65 or over or have a recognized disability
  • Meet physical or mental impairment requirements at the level provided by a skilled nursing home or intermediate care facility
  • Receive a monthly income no more than 300% of the SSI Federal Benefit Rate (FBR)
  • Come within ‘countable asset’ requirements as set out in the guidelines

Note that the Medicaid program does not cover room and board in assisted living arrangements, so even if you are eligible for assisted living through Medicaid, you’ll still have to pay for living charges.

Irrevocable trusts and Medicaid

Setting up an irrevocable trust does not automatically mean you will qualify for Medicaid.

The assets it includes are not necessarily exempt from being considered as ‘countable assets’ in your estate by Medicaid assessors.

Any asset that the trustee can choose to give to the beneficiary will still be treated as a countable resource by Medicaid.

This is a complex area that needs expert legal advice to navigate. Doing it right can help you get valuable health care aid.

Long-term care insurance 

Another way to safeguard your long-term care requirements is to take out long-term care insurance.

This is not a common offering by insurance companies as in the past (and premiums can be quite high) but it may still be worth considering.

It covers many of the costs associated with nursing home care, assisted living or in-home care that is not covered by Medicare.

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When it was time to update our estate plan we turned to Kent Phelps.  We were only two days away from an extended trip overseas and needed it done fast but done right – especially with a child who has special needs.  Our documents were completed, signed, notarized and witnessed in a day! And we were confident it was done right because we had the help of an experienced attorney.  So grateful to Kent for going above and beyond so we could enjoy our trip with peace of mind!
Sarah & Andy Weir
We had known for many years that we needed an estate plan but just never got around to doing it.  Our son hired Kent Phelps to do his estate plan and encouraged us to contact Kent and get it done – so we did!   We immediately felt like Kent “got” our unique family situation and knew just what to do. We wish we had done this sooner but what a great feeling it is to know that what we’ve worked so hard for all these years will be protected and go to the right people when it’s our time.  We highly recommend Kent to anybody who needs an estate planning attorney.
Christine & Arvon Jones
Amazing In Every Way! Kent was amazing. He excelled in communication, and he was very understanding and listened to our unique situation. He explained everything in detail and was an amazing advocate for what we wanted to do. I would highly recommend him and his services. 
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We were looking for an estate planning attorney and were referred to Kent Phelps by a friend.  We felt like he really listened to us as we talked about our family and business and what we wanted to accomplish.  Kent took the time to help us understand how living trusts and LLC’s work and how they can help protect our family and property.   The fixed fee approach was also very appealing to us. We were excited when we received our estate planning and LLC notebooks! Being able to have instructions in our trust that make sure our children receive what we leave them in a way that will truly help, rather than harm them has given us the peace of mind we were hoping for.  So grateful we found Kent!
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Mr. Phelps has provided exceptional work and advice. I have recommended many family and friends to Mr. Phelps because of his professionalism.
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Kent’s unique perspective and focused expertise set him apart from his peers. His willingness to completely understand his client’s goals, and only then offer appropriate suggestions is refreshing. With an ability to take complex asset protection strategy and explain it in common context, it is easy to recommend him.
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Kent has ideas and solutions that were very valuable to us. I have recommended Kent and his firm to many of my associates.
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Kent is an exemplary advocate for his clients. It is an honor to have worked with him and witness his high ethical standards.
Kenneth Shapiro

Upcoming Seminars

Peace of Mind Through Proper Estate Planning  

Presented by Attorney Kent Phelps

Monday, March 16, 2020


Sullivans Steakhouse
1785 East River Road
Tucson, AZ 85718

(Dinner Served)

SEMINAR FULL - Call (833) 927-1031 to get on the wait list

Peace of Mind Through Proper Estate Planning  

Presented by Attorney Kent Phelps

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020


Sullivans Steakhouse
1785 East River Road
Tucson, AZ 85718

(Dinner Served)

SEMINAR POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19 - Call (480) 771-0707 to be first in line for the reschedule!

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