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When It Comes To Medicaid Planning, What Is a Power Of Attorney and Why Have One?

When planning for your financial future, having a power of attorney and planning for the need for Medicaid eligibility are some of the most important tools available in the estate planning process. However, properly creating a power of attorney for your Medicaid and estate planning needs is often a complicated process. Here is what you need to know about how a power of attorney and Medicaid planning work together:

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to name someone who is authorized to act as your “agent” and make decisions on your behalf. The person you name as the agent in your power of attorney document has the legal right to make decisions on your behalf. However, which decisions your agent may make and to what extent varies depending on the type of power of attorney document used.

A power of attorney document allows you to name an agent to act on your behalf regarding either specific or all financial, medical, and legal matters. If you create a limited power of attorney, you are authorizing your agent to act on your behalf within very specific limits. A general power of attorney allows your agent to act on your behalf in any capacity. By making your power of attorney document durable, you allow your agent to continue to have the authority to act on your behalf even if you become incapacitated.

Why having a power of attorney is important in Medicaid planning

Any time you create a power of attorney document, you have the power to decide which authority the person acting as your agent is allowed to have and to what extent. The most effective power of attorney document for estate planning and Medicaid planning is a general power of attorney document that is classified as being durable.

When you have a general power of attorney, your agent has broad authority to act on your behalf in managing your financial affairs. You are also able to provide your agent the authority to act on your behalf for medical decisions. When your agent has the authority to manage both your financial and medical decisions, they also have the authority to work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on your behalf. This means if you become incapacitated, your agent is able to complete your application for Medicaid benefits to cover the costs for your long-term care. Your agent will then be able to continue to manage and protect your financial assets while you receive the care you need.

Knowledgeable Kansas Medicaid planning lawyers guide families through the complicated Medicaid planning process

Families should begin planning for Medicaid well before they need it. The skilled Kansas Medicaid and estate planning attorneys at Stockton & Stern, LLC. have the experience necessary to guide you through the complex Medicaid planning process. Our lawyers are knowledgeable in all Medicaid and estate planning laws and are dedicated to protecting your financial future. To schedule an appointment to speak with one of our trusted Medicaid planning advisors, call us at 913-856-2828 or contact us online today. Our offices are located in Gardner and Overland Park, and we are available to meet you at your home if needed.