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2018 Arizona Medicaid Eligibility Criteria

Adult daughter struggling with Medicaid Eligibility for her older mom

Here is the most recent Medicaid Eligibility criteria for Arizona. By the way, in Arizona Medicaid is called the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), and the program that specifically provides long term care for the aged, blind, and disabled is called the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS).

2018 Arizona Medicaid Long Term Care Eligibility for Seniors
Type of Medicaid Single Married (both spouses applying) Married (one spouse applying)
Institutional / Nursing Home Medicaid Income Limit – $2,250 / month
Asset Limit – $2,000
Level of Care Required – Nursing Home
Income Limit – $3,375 / month
Asset Limit – $3,000
Level of Care Required – Nursing Home
Income Limit – $2,250 / month for applicant
Asset Limit – $2,000 for applicant & $123,600 for non-applicant
Level of Care Required – Nursing Home
Medicaid Waivers / Home and Community Based Services Income Limit – $2,250 / month
Asset Limit – $2,000
Level of Care Required – Nursing Home
Income Limit – $3,375 / month
Asset Limit – $3,000
Level of Care Required – Nursing Home
Income Limit – $2,250 / month for applicant
Asset Limit – $2,000 for applicant & $123,600 for non-applicant
Level of Care Required – Nursing Home
Regular Medicaid / Aged Blind and Disabled Income Limit – $1,005 / month
Asset Limit – No limit
Level of Care Required – None
Income Limit – $1,354/ month
Asset Limit – No limit
Level of Care Required- None
Income Limit – $1,005 / month
Asset Limit – No limit
Level of Care Required – None

When you are using this chart, keep in mind that even if you think you do not quality, there may be a way to figure things out. For example, even if you have too many assets (more than $2,000), there still may be a way of qualifying.

Beware of Conflicts of Interest

You may have spoken to someone at a home health agency or nursing home. And they referred you to a document preparer to help you with Medicaid (ALTCS) eligibility. There may be a hidden conflict of interest. The document preparer wants to keep the nursing home happy (so she keeps getting more work). The nursing home wants you to pay privately for as long as possible (because they make more money that way). But you want to preserve assets and get on Medicaid as soon as possible. A Medicaid Eligibility Lawyer will be loyal to you (and your elderly parent).

Beware of Financial Exploitation Laws

This is a possible landmine. Read this paragraph carefully. If you meet with a Medicaid Eligibility Lawyer, you may be told to spend down your mom or dad’s money or transfer it to your account as part of a “spend down.” In other words, you may be told to transfer your mom’s or dad’s assets to their kids or to a trust. From the standpoint of Medicaid planning, this is fine. However, A.R.S. Section 46-456 could pose a big problem. Is your mom or dad s a vulnerable adult? (Probably, if you are talking about Medicaid planning.) Are you in a position or trust and confidence? (Probably, if you are the one helping with this.) Are you thinking about transfer your parent’s resources away from your parent’s control? Then could easily be violation A.R.S. Section 46-456 (the Arizona financial exploitation statute). If you violate the statute, you could be liable for two times the amount that you transferred from your parent, plus legal fees, plus you could be disinherited. YIKES! There are ways around this. But you need to handle this issue before you start transferring assets away from your mom or dad.

The Cost of Hiring a Medicaid Eligibility Lawyer is Cheaper Than Making a Mistake

The average cost of a nursing home in Maricopa County, Arizona is around $4,800 per month. You could easily make a mistake and pay privately for a nursing home, when you don’t have to. Worse yet, you could make a mistake and be held personally liable for mismanaging your parents assets. The cost of getting a lawyer to help you through this process is much less in comparison.

Contact a Scottsdale Medicaid Planning Lawyer Today

Give us a call at 602-443-4888 or contact us here.  We’d love to help. Medicaid Eligibility Lawyer Paul Deloughery’s mom owned a nursing home, and Paul Deloughery was a partner in a home health agency after law school. He has a passion for helping older people and their families.

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Paul Deloughery: How to Win Disputes Over Life Insurance

Attorney Paul Deloughery is in a suit and sitting casually in a tree.

Paul Deloughery recently in the news!

Paul Deloughery recently decided to focus on disputes over life insurance. This news was recently picked up by a number of news channels, such as Fox 8 in New Orleans,, NBC News in Louisvills, Kentuccky, and ABC News in Lawton, Oklahoma.

In the news articles, Paul Deloughery revealed three essential elements that is helping his clients win life insurance beneficiary disputes. Here is a summary:

In terms of insurance claim disputes, there are two types.

  • The first type occurs when money paid by the life insurance company was dispersed to the wrong person.
  • The second, more common kind is when two or more people claim they are the main beneficiary.

In either type of dispute, Paul Deloughery outlined the three key elements he uses to help clients win their claim.

1. Experience in Federal Court

One important component Deloughery sees as a key factor in achieving results is his 19 years of experience in federal court.

“This is vital as disputes over life insurance claims often end up in federal court. People in these disputes can come from different states, and when that happens, the insurance company usually wants the case handled in federal court,” he said.

“Different types of courts have different attitudes. State courts are more intimate and the judges are generally more accommodating, while federal courts are colder and more matter of fact. All they care about are cold hard facts.”

2. Expertise in Interpleader Cases

An interpleader case is one in which the life insurance company deposits the disputed funds into the court and allows the beneficiaries to fight over them.

The level of expertise in interpleader cases is another important factor when looking for an attorney.

One of the reasons for this, he says, is that someone who has dealt with hundreds of interpleading cases is better able to quickly “get a feel for the case” and understand whether or not their client has a strong case or not.

“A less experienced lawyer might do the client a disservice by encouraging them to pursue a course of litigation even if in reality they should walk away,” Paul Deloughery added.

3. Personal Attention

The last crucial aspect that potential clients should be on the lookout for is the level of personal attention given by the law firm and in particular the attorney assigned to the case.

When asked to elaborate, Paul Deloughery said, “Larger law firms tend to have several layers of administrative staff that a client would have to go through before speaking with their lawyer. For the most part, my clients can call and speak with me or another attorney immediately.”

For more information please visit

Have a life insurance dispute?

Contact us here or call 602-443-4888.

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You had a contract with someone and that person died

Contract and pen, with faint image of hands shaking overlaid on top

If you had a contract with someone and the person died, what happens? That’s what I’ll be discussing in this post. Normally, the mere fact that one party to the contract died does not affect whether it is enforceable. In other words, the contract remains enforceable (unless an exception applies). The obvious complication is that the deceased person’s estate may have to go through probate. If the deceased person had a trust, you may have to deal with the trustee of that trust.

That being said, things can get even more complicated when dealing with family. For example, let’s say that one person loans money to another, such as when a parent loans money to a child. Is the contract still enforceable even when one party to a contract dies? Being a lawyer, my answer is, “It depends.” Here are some of the issues that can come up:

Statute of Limitations Issues.

A statute of limitations is a statute that limits the amount of time within which you can bring a legal action to enforce a contract. In Arizona, for example, a legal action to enforce a written contract signed in Arizona must be brought within six years of the breach. See A.R.S. 12-548. But what happens when we are dealing with family members?

Imagine this example: A parent loaned money to a child 10 years ago, and the parties signed a written loan agreement. The loan agreement stated the amount that was due and the interest rate. However, it did not provide a due date. The parent just died. Is the contract enforceable by the parent’s estate? Probably yes, unless some other defense applied, such as laches. (Laches means that you just waited too long to go to court and enforce the agreement. The lesson is: Don’t wait if you think you have a legal claim. See a lawyer ASAP.)

Discovery Rule.

This is the rule that a claim accrues when the plaintiff knew or should have known by exercise of reasonable diligence that the plaintiff had been injured. Gust, Rosenfeld & Henderson v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 182 Ariz. 586, 898 P.2d 964, 193 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 3, 1995 Ariz. LEXIS 55 (Ariz. 1995). The important inquiry in applying the discovery rule is whether the plaintiff’s injury or the conduct causing the injury is difficult for the plaintiff to detect. Gust, Rosenfeld & Henderson v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 182 Ariz. 586, 898 P.2d 964, 193 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 3, 1995 Ariz. LEXIS 55 (Ariz. 1995).

Dead Man’s Statute.

Arizona’s “Dead Man’s Statute” provides that “neither party shall be allowed to testify against the other as to any transaction with or statement by the testator…unless called to testify thereto by the opposite party, or required to testify thereto by the court.” A.R.S. § 12–2251. While most other states have eliminated their Dead Man’s Statutes, Arizona still has such a statute. However, it is discretionary. Personally, I have raised the Arizona Dead Man’s Statute multiple times over the years. In the context of a dispute over a written promissory note, the issue might be whether the debtor made payments that he claims should have reduced the debt. Verbal discussions with the deceased person over whether there was an agreement that payments or services (such as repairing the deceased person’s roof) were to be applied to the amount owing on the debt would usually fall within the Dead Man’s Statute. However, I have yet to witness a probate judge or commissioner actually keep evidence out based on the statute. Similarly, such discussions also typically fall within the definition of hearsay, but such hearsay statements are usually allowed in as freely as the shirttail relatives that often attend probate hearings.

The Lesson: Be Proactive.

If you had a contract with someone and that person died, you should contact a lawyer right away. Don’t just assume that everything will be okay. If you wait, the money could get paid out of the deceased person’s estate and you’ll be left holding the bag.


This is by no means an exhaustive discussion. If you are trying to enforcement a contract against a deceased person’s estate (or if you are in charge of an estate involving such a situation), you really need an attorney. We’re happy to help you. Give us a call at 602-443-4888. Or send us a note to

This blog post was not intended as legal advice. Every situation is different. If you want legal advice, please contact us. We will have you sign an agreement establishing a lawyer-client relationship.

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What to do in event of the death of a family member

Flowers from a funeral after death of loved one.

Here is a short list of things you should do in the event of a family member’s death.

  1. Contact a probate attorney to guide you through the process.
  2. Begin inventorying property that was owned or controlled by the person who passed away. It is best to take a video camera (or your smart phone) and record a video of the items.This will document the condition that things were in at the person’s death. Then you will have a good record of what was there and what was not. This may help avoid later lawsuits claiming that someone has taken items.
  3. Immediately contact a reputable funeral director to assist with the appropriate disposition of the decedent’s remains. Most states have laws that are particular about how the person’s remains are to be handled. You will want to make sure everything is done properly for the benefit of the family, and also in terms of complying with the law.
  4. Order multiple certified copies of the death certificate. As standard practice, it is good to get ten or twelve. The funeral home will most likely order these for you.
  5. Get a copy of the Will if one exists. Find out where the original Will is and make sure it is kept safe. If you can’t find the Will, contact the deceased person’s lawyers or other professional advisors. Lawyers often have a way of sending a request on your behalf to all of the other estate planning lawyers in the local area.
  6. Determine whether probate is necessary or in the best interest of the estate. This should be done with the advice of an attorney. Never assume it is best to avoid probate. As an example, if there are possible creditor issues, it may be better to have a probate to figure out exactly what creditor claims are valid and should be paid.
  7. Locate financial documents, such as annuities, insurance policies, IRAs, retirement accounts and other types of funds that may not be physically located where the person resided. Usually, you can contact employers and banks to determine if they have accounts for the deceased person.
  8. Protect against family disputes by preserving property, and making sure that one family member doesn’t start throwing things away. That could cause other family members to get angry and suspicious. See item number 2 above about taking an inventory of all the personal property.
  9. Obtain an estimate from your attorney as to the costs of administering the estate. Ask for a list of things that need to be done and what you can expect in terms of cost. Get a written agreement with the attorney in relation to administering the estate, and make sure the attorney understands that he or she is to notify you if there is going to be any change from the estimate.

To summarize, the key things to do are (a) to properly document what personal property exists (preferably by making a video of all the property), (b) contact a lawyer and find out what needs to be done, and (c) locate financial documents and the Will.

This short blog post is not intended as a substitute for actually talking to a probate attorney. If you have experienced a death in your family, please contact us. We are one of the most experienced law firms locally in terms of administering probate estates, and our staff is committed to providing efficient and caring service.

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How to Admit Parent to Locked Memory Unit

Older man with dementia; needs to be admitted to memory unit

If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, you may need to consider admitting him or her to a locked memory unit. There are very nice, caring places available. But you can’t just drive your loved on with dementia or Alzheimer’s to the facility and drop them off. Why? Because one of the issues is that dementia and Alzheimer’s patients tend to wander. They can also be violent or suffer from hallucinations. That’s when the patient requires powerful psychotropic medications. And placing a person in a locked memory unit and authorizing certain psychotropic medications requires special authorization. How do you get this authorization? How can you admit your parent to a locked memory unit?

The statistics.

The number of cases of dementia and Alzheimers Disease is on the rise in Arizona. In 2015, there are 120,000 Arizonans age 65 and older who have Alzheimer’s disease, according to a Arizona Alzheimer’s Task Force report. This number is expected to increase to 200,000 by 2025, representing the second highest projected growth rate in our nation.

What is a Locked Memory Unit?

In Arizona, if you see a care facility that says it has a “Memory Unit”, that refers to a Behavioral Health Inpatient Facility. According to R9-10-101 (24), of the Arizona Administrative Code:

“Behavioral health inpatient facility” means a health care institution that provides continuous treatment to an individual experiencing a behavioral health issue that causes the individual to:
a. Have a limited or reduced ability to meet the individual’s basic physical needs;
b. Suffer harm that significantly impairs the individual’s judgment, reason, behavior, or capacity to recognize reality;
c. Be a danger to self;
d. Be a danger to others;
e. Be persistently or acutely disabled as defined in A.R.S. § 36-501; or
f. Be gravely disabled.

How to get the authorization to admit your loved one to a locked memory unit.

As you can probably imagine, you can’t just take anyone to a memory care facility and have them admitted against their will. It is possible to admit a person for a 72-hour hold at a Locked Memory Unit. That is intended to be sufficient time to get the person evaluated and figure out if additional help is needed. But, if you don’t do anything further, after the 72 hours is up, the person can be released. (For some older people who obviously cannot take care of themselves, a memory unit may continue to hold the person even though this is technically not permitted.)

During this 72 hour window, you should get the person evaluated by a psychiatrist or psychologist. There is a special report that needs to be filled out. If the doctor says that the person needs inpatient treatment, then you can file a Petition to get appointed as the person’s guardian with mental health powers. The “mental health powers” are additional powers over and above just being able to dictate where the person lives. They authorize the placement in at Locked Memory Unit and also the prescription of psychotropic medications.

Next steps.

If you have a loved one who you believe needs to be placed in a Locked Memory Unit, you should contact an attorney. This article did not cover the court procedures that are involved. It is complicated. For starters, there will be a court appointed attorney who will represent your loved one, and may fight the granting of mental health powers. Also, a Court Investigator will be looking into the situation. Unless you have someone guiding the process, it’s possible that the mental health powers will get denied, and you won’t be able to admit your loved one to a Locked Memory Unit.

This articles was not intended as legal advice. If you need help, contact us. We will have you sign a fee agreement and represent you through the court process.