When people hear “Medicaid planning,” they assume that it is something for people with little or no assets. However, in reality the people who can potentially benefit the most from Medicaid planning are people who may not currently qualify for it due to having significant monthly income, money in the bank or ownership of property. So how do you know if Medicaid planning may be right for you, and what should you do if you want to incorporate it as part of your estate plan?
Defining Medicaid Planning
“Medicaid planning” refers to the process of reorganizing your personal assets to help you qualify for Medicaid benefits, to pay the costs associated with long-term healthcare costs such as Home Care or Nursing Home Care. The one tool used for this type of planning is the Medicaid Asset Protect Trust, also known simply as a Medicaid trust. Assets placed in a Medicaid trust might not be counted towards the maximum value of assets you can own and still qualify for Medicaid benefits, if the Trust is properly constructed and done within a certain time frame; thus, allowing you to qualify when you otherwise would not.
How Medicaid Planning Can Benefit You
The biggest benefit to Medicaid planning is that it can allow you to get Medicaid benefits without needing to sell, give away or “spend down” all your assets. Medicaid coverage can eliminate the costs associated with long-term healthcare needs. The rising costs of nursing home care and home care can easily leave someone destitute if they spend all their resources paying for that care themselves. It also means you can ensure that your assets are protected and available for your children and other heirs, ensuring they receive the benefits of a lifetime of work rather than having all your assets go toward paying for long term care and medical costs.
Who Medicaid Planning is For
The primary beneficiaries of Medicaid planning are people who have more income and assets than would normally be allowable to qualify for Medicaid, and who want to preserve their assets and avoid paying for long-term healthcare costs out of pocket. This includes many middle class people who may have chronic medical conditions they need to treat, which may previously have been covered by their employer’s medical insurance. It can also include people who were previously healthy and begin to suffer from new medical problems as they get older.
What You Should Do
If you are growing older and you are concerned about the potential costs of your long-term healthcare needs, Medicaid planning may be right for you. However, the only way to know is to consult with an Elder Law attorney with experience handling Medicaid trusts and other estate planning needs. The sooner you get in contact, the sooner they can get to work helping you create an estate plan that suits your personal needs.
Whether for yourself or for a loved one, estate and elder law planning can be overwhelming and emotionally taxing. The legal professionals at Hobson-Williams, P.C. will advise you on the options available to you, and help you establish a plan that best suits your needs. Call (718) 210-4744 or visit our contact page to speak to one of our attorneys and learn how Hobson-Williams, P.C. can help you gain the peace of mind that comes from being prepared for the future.