Client Stories

Meet Al

Al and Vi met in Southern California in 1949. He was out of the service, and she had just moved to California. Al was a friend of Vi’s sister and brother-in-law, and after meeting Vi, he asked her on a date to the beach. They dated and eventually married. She was 18, he was 21. They had two children, a son and a daughter.

Al was quite the athlete in school, playing basketball and football. He was also in the band and played coronet. But after injuring his lip, he had to decide if he wanted to play football or play his instrument. There was no way he could do both, so he chose football. Later on he was a little sorry about his choice as he could have had music all of his life.

They both loved to dance – anything! Square dancing, polkas, round dancing, ballroom, you name it. Bowling was another favorite. They loved the beach, family barbeques and were involved in little league. Al worked as an accountant and Vi was in banking. Al’s proudest accomplishment was his family and being an athlete.

Al was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and it was starting to impact their lives. Their daughter realized he was failing and was encouraging her mom to move closer, but Vi was in denial and thought she could take care of Al. Her daughter was referred to us by one of our networking professionals, and encouraged Vi to see “Planning for Seniors” and find out about our services. A strategic plan was designed to help pay for Al’s care and they re-located to Northern California to be closer to their daughter.

Al passed in April of 2008, leaving his wife, daughter and two grandsons behind. They had a good life, full of ups and downs, good times and bad, but got through it all. This wonderful man is missed and it has been hard for Vi, but she is starting to spread her wings and get re-acquainted with life and enjoy it. She knows Al would want it that way and she knows she has someone waiting for her when it’s time for her to go.

Strategy for Funding Al’s Extended Care

This case was not a particularly difficult case, but it was complex, taking almost a year to get to the actual application stage because of all the assets they held. There were so many bank accounts (6 banks, multiple accounts at each bank), investments, pensions, IRA’s, CD’s, etc. that had to be consolidated into one account before we could begin. The case was started in August of 2005 and the Medi-Cal application was submitted in September 2006.

For this particular case our goals were to:

1. Posture bank accounts, investments, pensions, IRA’s, CD’s for the eventual need of the Medi-Cal benefit for Al.
2. Establish the Intentionally Defective Grantor Irrevocable Trust (IDGIT) to protect the home from eventual Medi-Cal recovery.
3. Qualify Al for Medi-Cal

Step One:
Liquidation of most cash assets, excluding the IRA’s. We gave family members instructions on how to go about liquidating all accounts and we stepped in with assistance whenever they hit a snag. We then assisted with the proper Medi-Cal “spend down”.

Step Two:
We conferred with one of our expert affilliate attorneys for an appropriate Intentionally Defective Grantor Irrevocable Trust (IDGIT) allowed by Medi-Cal regulatory guidelines.

Step Three:
We started the Medi-Cal application process which included filling out the Medi-Cal application, disclosure of liquidated monies, the IDGIT and the disposition of all monies within the last 30 months.

Step Four:
Because of the complexity of the assets, Medi-Cal was initially denied. With the expertise of Planning for Seniors, the county finally got clarity on this particular “spend down” process and the case was approved.

When we first started this case, we thought Al would digress slowly, eventually going from home to an assisted living facility and then to a skilled nursing facility. But as it turned out, he took a turn for the worse and went into a skilled nursing facility while we were still in the process of getting the Medi-Cal case approved. Five months after we submitted the application the Medi-Cal benefits were approved. The Medi-Cal benefits were approved retroactively and Al’s nursing home expenses were paid.

Meet Bud & Mary

Bud and Mary were married in 1962 and they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 1987. It was the second marriage for both. Bud had one child, and Mary had three children, all from previous marriages. Bud owned a liquor store and Mary worked for Pacific Bell for 25 years and retired in the 1970s.

They both were avid golfers, members of a local golf & country club, and Mary had served as president of the womens’ golf group. They had an RV and spent their winters in Yuma, AZ.

Bud and Mary had a lovely home and enjoyed sharing it with family and friends, especially the putting green in the backyard. They loved to cook and entertain and had lots of parties and BBQs. Bud was Italian and made the best spaghetti! These parties and camping together are their childrens’ happiest memories.

There was only one daughter & son-in-law in the immediate area so it was up to them to help with Bud and Mary as they moved into many aging issues. Financial problems hit first, and it was a struggle to get any information about their situation, which happens quite often. Mary’s daughter was the driving force, but Bud and Mary wouldn’t cooperate at first. Sometimes, it can be pretty intimidating when an adult child wants to step in and help their parent. It can also be embarrassing when they know they’ve gotten themselves in over their heads and hard for them to give up control when they’ve always had it. When the daughter’s approach wasn’t working, the son-in-law came to the rescue. He looked at the situation with a different set of eyes and tried a different approach. Bud and Mary finally agreed to inform him on what was going on and let him help.

After the son-in-law had been working with them for awhile, Bud fell ill on a family vacation. From that time on he went downhill quickly. He had a pacemaker, had no energy, slept a lot and was starting to suffer from dementia. Mary wanted to care for him at home, but she wasn’t able to do anything too physical and had no idea how they would be able to pay for his care. Thankfully, the son-in-law heard Deborah’s local radio program on funding extended care and the benefits of the Medi-Cal program. He called Planning for Seniors right away and the work began.

Bud passed away on 7/24/2005 and Mary followed on 1/27/2006.

Website content not intended as legal advice. No guarantee implied or promised as to approval of Medi-Cal benefits. Use of information is at user’s sole risk,
without liability, risk, legal exposure to referenced sources, technical advisers, or Planning for Seniors, LLC.