Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Estate Law

Out at dinner recently, someone was talking about how she'd like her kids to get an estate lawyer to hide money if she ever ends up in a long-term nursing home. "The government takes so much over your life," she said, "and that money should go to your kids." I almost couldn't disagree more.

She was talking about finding ways to hide money to leave an inheritance for her kids while being able to pay for her own increasing healthcare costs with Medicaid.

I do think that the American government has historically (and presently) done an inadequate job of managing the costs of healthcare for its citizens, but I also think that gaming the system can only worsen the problem.

US Healthcare Spending

"The rules for qualifying for medicaid are always changing," she complained. "They're just trying to keep up with people hiding money to avoid the rules," I retorted. "You're probably right," she admitted, "but I don't feel bad at all hiding money from them."

Since I spilled a Dr. Pepper on her couch the last time I had dinner with them, I decided to leave the conversation at that. However, while I think that the government should do more for sick and elderly adults, I don't think that they should take that money from impoverished families.

I'm all for robinhoodian stealing-from-the-rich-to-give-to-the-poor, but I can't justify stealing-from-the-poor-to-give-my-kids-some-money-when-I-die.