Are you an attorney or financial advisor? You will definitely want to have a copy of the Professional Edition of K. Gabriel Heiser's Medicaid planning book...

Medicaid Planning: From A to Z


This is the 2021 Professional Edition of the best-selling book “How to Protect Your Family’s Assets from Devastating Nursing Home Costs: Medicaid Secrets.” While substantially based on that smaller consumer-focused edition, the Professional Edition is squarely aimed at the attorney or financial advisor who wishes to have a more-detailed guide with every reference footnoted.

Originally prepared as part of a 17-hour professional CLE course that attorney K. Gabriel Heiser gave to attorneys and advisors across the country for the Medicaid Planning Network, the Professional Edition is now available as a separate purchase.

The Professional Edition:

  • 540 pages long (full-size: 8.5″ x 11″ softcover)
  • 50+ footnotes (every citation–law, rule, regulation, and case reference–is now completely set out in these footnotes; a HUGE timesaver that vastly speeds up your research: worth the cost of the manual alone!)
  • Additional discussions aimed at the attorney/advisor
  • Two additional chapters on Medicaid Planning and Attorney Professional Ethics (39 pages–used with a two-hour ethics CLE course)
  • Sample legal forms, including: Durable Power of Attorney; Will with Elective Share Trust; Promissory Note; Ladybird Deed; Deed of Small Percentage Interest (ready to be incorporated into your legal forms, for all your Medicaid clients)
  • 138 pages of the most-used Medicaid statutes and regulations so they are at your fingertips
  • A completed Medicaid application as an example to guide you
  • Entire book re-written specifically for the attorney/advisor

Here are the topics covered in this complete and up-to-date guide to Medicaid Planning:

What Is Medicaid?—Describes the legal basis for the Medicaid program and how it is administered.

What is Covered by Medicaid?—Compared to Medicare; sets forth exactly what is and is not covered by Medicaid, for assisted living and nursing home care: care in the home; assisted living; nursing homes; state coverage options; etc.

Applying for Benefits—Sets forth the exact steps needed to apply for Medicaid for nursing homes/assisted living care: Who may apply? When is the best time to apply (too early vs too late)? Where to apply? Retroactive coverage; filial responsibility laws; documentation of citizenship, etc.

Medical Qualification Rules—Describes what the medical tests are to qualify for Medicaid

Income Qualification Rules—Sets forth in great detail the income rules for both married and single applicants to Medicaid, including the different schemes used in various states: types of income (earned, unearned, in-kind, exclusions); “income cap” states; how to increase the income for the at-home spouse; use of loans; fair hearings; court orders of support, etc.

Asset Qualification Rules—The heart of Medicaid planning depends on a thorough knowledge of which assets are countable, excluded, or exempt from the Medicaid application process. You must know this inside and out to assist your clients with their planning! Married vs single, cash, the home, autos, personal property, insurance, funeral/burial rules, IRAs, property in a trade or business; income-producing property, etc.

Planning techniques to increase the share of the at-home spouse; post-eligibility planning.

Transferring Assets—Discusses the “look-back” rules, various exemptions, penalty periods, etc. How to do the calculations; gifts by married couples; valuing the gift; lookback period rules; fraudulent transfers.

Trusts—A thorough discussion of trusts in Medicaid planning: revocable, irrevocable, income-only, pooled, third-party, spousal-share, testamentary and special needs trusts.

Strategies to Qualify—Converting countable to non-countable assets (and vice-versa), decreasing the home equity amount, transferring excluded assets, IRAs, personal service contracts, Long-Term Care Partnership Programs, spousal refusal

The Home: Planning Ideas—Transfers to children, disabled child exception, use of life estates, joint interest vs remainders, “Ladybird Deeds,” sibling exception, income tax basis issues, reverse mortgages, etc.

Annuities—How to structure a “Medicaid-friendly” annuity under federal law, how the numbers work, single person/married person strategies, effect on Community Spouse’s income/assets, etc.

Promissory Notes—How to structure and calculate a promissory note to reduce countable assets of the Medicaid applicant

Transfer (Gift) Strategies—The “half-a-loaf” method and current substitutes, using annuities, promissory notes, gifts, sales, reverse mortgages. Exceptions including transfers to spouse, disabled child, caretaker child, certain trusts, etc.

Post-Eligibility Issues—Patient’s share-of-costs, personal needs allowance, health care expenses, transfers by the Community Spouse, gifts by children, divorce, moving from state-to-state, etc.

Estate Recovery—Differing state definitions of “estate”; probate vs non-probate; exceptions; timing of recovery claims; waivers for hardship; married couples’ issues, liens, etc.

Case Studies—Five different typical scenarios (single, no home; single with home and $42,000 in assets; married, with home, $200,000 in assets, crisis planning; married with home, $950,000 in assets, spouse not yet in nursing home, two children; and single woman, $300,000 in assets, no home, advance planning). You are walked through each case as if the person were your client, with various planning options discussed and applied to each case in detail. Very helpful pulling together of all the rules and planning options discussed in the manual!

Veterans’ Pension: How It Works and Planning Techniques—Complete discussion of the pension amounts (Aid and Attendance, etc) available to veterans, and the new asset, income, lookback, and transfer rules (beginning with 2019 edition).

Taxation: Trust, Estate, and Gift—A thorough review of the income tax rules that apply to trusts and estates, including various ways to achieve “grantor trust” status.

Pre-DRA Planning—For the California attorney.

Medicaid Planning and Attorney Professional Ethics—A complete 40-page course! Who is the client? Client competence. Confidentiality rules. Declining or withdrawing representation. Practical advice on advising Medicaid planning clients: fraud, fair hearings, fee agreements, flat vs hourly charges, fee-splitting, VA cases, etc. Dealing with conflicts of interest (spouse, children). For the advisor: avoiding unauthorized practice of law (UPL) charges. Advertising rules. Joint seminars. Case studies/hypotheticals.

Appendix—What to put in a durable power of attorney, for Medicaid planning purposes. Same-sex marriage issues. Etc.

GLOSSARY—Detailed definitions of all Medicaid-related terms.



While the small paperback “layman’s edition” that sells for $49 is indeed a handy desk-reference, anyone that practices in this area will want to own a copy of the 2021 Professional Edition so as to have all the benefits set forth above.

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW to purchase your copy of the 2021 edition:.