What kind of financial consultant should I seek to help my brother pay for his medical care?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 26, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

July 12, 2011 My brother suffered a serious accident about 2 years ago. After 5 months at the Craig Inst in Denver, paid for by Medicare he came home. He needs in-home care & his wife is unable to provide much physical or managerial help. Six months ago he went into a nursing home because of a bad bed sore and has been there since then. The monthly cost of his care is about $10K and he has no health insurance.

He owns two large areas, which he has been developing as housing estates. He also owns rental properties and a water company that supplies water to houses already built. He is worth about $5M, but owes about $3M. He and his wife have managed up to this point because I have lent them money and they are now selling assets. Most of his assets are not easy to sell let alone sell at a profit. I'm afraid they may face bankruptcy. I cannot continue to loan the money they may need if the housing market does not improve. I would like to find a financial consultant who would advise on courses of action in both short and long term. What kind of professional would I best seek? He is in Rapid City SD.

William Bryan

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

There are several unknowns in your question. For example, how are the businesses structured? Is your brother a sole proprietor or are they corporations or LLCs? Depending on the answers, you should see a bankruptcy attorney who specializes in personal or business bankruptcy, or both. The other professional you should seek out is an attorney or estate planner who is an expert in Medicaid planning. There may be ways to protect assets from being depleted by your brother's care. Elder law attorneys are well versed in Medicaid. Find one who also has expertise in special needs planning. When you do see one of these specialists, don't be afraid to interview them. They should offer a free consultation. Make sure you feel comfortable that they understand the situation and their strategies make sense. If you are uncertain, get multiple opinions.