Don't Let the Government take Grandma's Home and Life Savings

[This article was originally published on October 29, 2007.  The links were updated on July 24, 2018.]

Jim Zeigler. Don't Let the Government take Grandma's Home and Life Savings. 2007. Lulu. 251 pages.

$39.95 from Lulu ($31.95 for download version).

Don't be fooled by this book's modest packaging. Written by crusading elder law attorney Jim Zeigler, Don't Let the Government take Grandma's Home and Life Savings is a valuable, step-by-step guide to both crisis and advance long-term care planning.

Zeigler gained fame in elder law circles after he filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), which placed severe restrictions on the ability of the elderly to transfer assets before qualifying for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care. That suit was ultimately unsuccessful, but this Mobile, Alabama, attorney continues to champion the rights of the elderly in other ways, most recently with this helpful book that carries a simple message: it is never too late to do long-term care planning.

The book is divided into two sections. Section one is a quick planning guide for families with a loved one already in a nursing home or about to enter one within a year or two. The second part is for families who have the luxury of time, with a loved one who is not expected to need nursing home care within the next five years.

Each section covers the various planning options, gives tips on how to lower assets to below Medicaid limits, and explains how to protect the nursing home resident's income and home while still qualifying for Medicaid. The sections conclude with a work list for each planning method. Zeigler also covers the various long-term care housing options and the benefits of reverse mortgages.

Written in a conversational tone, Don't Let the Government Take Grandma's Home and Life Savings may appear unpreposessing but it delivers a clear and concise overview of all the long-term care planning options available. In addition, purchasers of the book receive a free consultation with the vigorous advocate who is its author.