February 8, 2008
Grappling with guardianships and Medicaid
The Deficit Reduction Act fundamentally changed the eligibility criteria for Medicaid, effective February 8, 2006. The federal statute was very poorly drafted and therefore has created a great deal of confusion for county workers, the elderly, and guardians. Guardians appointed for indigent or near indigent wards must now grapple with new standards and identify those actions which might affect eligibility for this program.
On Monday, February 18 from 1:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. “Guardianships: Where to Begin and How to Maintain” being presented in conjunction with the Franklin County Probate Court for 3.0 hours of CLE credit will address the basic rules impacting upon unmarried or widowed wards, and those efforts which may positively impact their care and quality of life in the session “Medicaid Basics for Indigent or Near-indigent Guardianships” with William J. Browning of Browning & Meyer.
Browning reports, “Liquidating assets such as a home in a depressed real estate market is now more difficult. Several ‘pooled trusts’ now also exist, which will allow a small set aside to pay for ‘extras.’ This presentation will outline several new strategies which should positively affect those we serve.”
This program will also address the applicable rules when the ward is married, and how to assist and maintain the ‘well spouse’ in the community. While there are still some protections for the ‘well spouse,’ the Deficit Reduction Act eliminated some of the options for those with very modest incomes. Counsel must carefully consider conflict issues and the processes necessary to preserve marital assets and income, so that the guardian does not inadvertently impoverish the ward’s spouse.
“While the underlying eligibility rules have, by design, always been confusing, the new federal government has raised the bar. The new rules are truly unintelligible to the uninitiated,” Browning shares.
In addition to Medicaid issues, topics and speakers for this seminar include Franklin County Probate Judge Lawrence A. Belskis presenting Opening the Guardianship; Dr. Sheila Faryman discussing Talking with the Doctor; attorney John K. Everett talking about Attorneys Performing as Professional Guardians; Melanie Cooley, LSW speaking about Adult Protective Services; and Gloria Woodard informing attendees regarding Veteran’s Affairs. Refreshments will be provided by CBS Agency, Inc.
Register online at by clicking here, or phone 614/221.4112 for event #3774. The cost is $40 prepaid/$55 day of for members, $80 prepaid/$95 day of for non-members and $30 prepaid/$45 day of for paralegals.