\There are a lot of popular North Carolina elder law myths that far too many people believe. When clients come to us seeking advice about an elder law issue, we are often forced to dispel many of their mistaken beliefs because. Many people believe these myths because they have never received legal advice from an experienced elder law attorney before. When you hear people in the general public talk about elder law issues, it’s important to remember that unless those people are experienced in the elder law field, much of what they say could be not just incorrect, but actually harmful.
So, to help dispel some popular North Carolina elder law myths, let’s take a closer look at many of the most widely held mistaken beliefs.
North Carolina Elder Law Myths. I don’t need to create a will because I can just tell people what I want.
North Carolina is one of a number of states that allows people to make oral wills. Oral wills are simply wills you verbally express, instead of wills that you write down.
However, the notion that you can simply make an oral will is not all that it might seem. There are some significant requirements and limitations that come with making an oral will in the state of North Carolina. For example, you can only make an oral will if you are in your “last sickness,” and can only use it to dispose of personal property. Making a written last will and testament is always a better option.
North Carolina Elder Law Myths 2. I can use Medicaid to pay for my long-term care expenses.
Medicaid is a jointly run federal and state government program that allows the elderly, disabled, and low-income people to receive health care and other government benefits. One of the best benefits of Medicaid is its ability to pay for long-term care expenses associated with nursing homes and other elder care facilities.
However, you cannot simply apply for Medicaid and expect to receive it. There are significant limitations on who can receive help under the Medicaid program. Specifically, people who have an income that exceeds a low level will be excluded from using Medicaid to pay for long-term care. Beyond that, people who have assets above a specific level will also be excluded.
Further, you cannot simply give away your assets and expect to be accepted into the Medicaid program. Your asset limit must be lower than the required limit for at least five years prior to your application.
In other words, if you plan on using Medicaid, you need to develop a plan at least five years in advance of applying for the program.