Farm Lawyer: Hiring an Attorney to Help with Medicaid Could Save Thousands

If you don’t want to lose your farmland to the nursing home, Farm Medicaid and Elder Law Attorney Natalie Boocher recommends you put an estate plan together sooner rather than later. Boocher is an attorney at Schwarz Law, an agriculture-focused law office with offices in Royal Center and South Bend.

She says that plan should really be put together 5 years in advance, but far too often she hears from folks who are facing imminent decisions about a loved one needing nursing home care.

“Generally, individuals who reach out to me with Medicaid related questions are faced with two scenarios, (1) a loved one is needing more and more assistance at home, they are seeing the need for a nursing home in the near future, and want to know where to begin and how to financially proceed; or (2) a loved one is in the hospital and will be transferred to a nursing facility for rehabilitation and/or permanent placement.  For either of these scenarios, clients are often times pleasantly surprised by all the ways in which an elder law attorney can help navigate this process, and ease these very difficult and uncertain life transitions.”

There is no way to sugar coat it, applying to obtain Medicaid coverage for long-term care is a long and complex process, but one that she can help with.

“An elder law attorney can help with guiding through the spend down process, trying to preserve as much income or assets for a spouse that’s still at home, just to make sure that they have the proper resources to pay for the bills and maintain the marital home while the other spouse is in a nursing facility. We can help facilitate paying for funeral planning and make sure that the assets that are spent down are utilized in the most effective way.”

When hiring an attorney, some people only see dollar signs. Boocher says that there is no downside to obtaining an attorney when it comes to Medicaid. In fact, from what she has seen when families attempt a Medicaid application and are denied, hiring an attorney can actually save you thousands of dollars, if not tens of thousands of dollars.

“It can, and the fees that are charged by an attorney who’s doing a Medicaid application or the Medicaid planning can be paid from the spend down funds that have to be spent down anyways. So, if you can get legal advice that’s going to ultimately save you maybe months of privately paying for a nursing home, there really is no losing funds there. A month of private nursing home care can cost anywhere from $8,000-$10,000 on average per month.”

Read more about the Medicaid application process from Boocher by reading the Schwarz Law blog. Reach out directly for assistance by visiting



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