Medicaid is a major source of payment for long-term care in the United States. Unfortunately, many elderly people in nursing homes end up spending through their savings before they can become eligible for Medicaid. When you have gone through your entire life accumulating assets and savings, the last thing you will want to do is to lose your savings when you need to live in a nursing home. Fortunately, there are ways to help protect your retirement assets and savings, which start by hiring an experienced elder law attorney Grand Rapids Mi.
HIRE AN ELDER LAW ATTORNEY
For protecting your assets from nursing home expenses, the first call you should make should be to a qualified elder law attorney. With careful planning and help from your local elder law attorney, you will be able to keep your assets intact while living in a nursing home.
Everyone’s situation is unique. It’s important to communicate with your elder law attorney so they can develop a Medicaid asset protection plan that will fit your specific situation. While there are many strategies for asset protection, the goal is always to get you eligible for Medicaid while you still have protected assets.
SET UP AN IRREVOCABLE ASSET PROTECTION TRUST
If you are over the age of 65, it might be the perfect time for you to consider an irrevocable asset protection trust. Like the name suggests, all assets placed into an irrevocable trust cannot be revoked. In other words, they are irrevocable.
The grantor (the person who places the assets into the trust) can set limits on how the trust assets are used and any other conditions and terms. An irrevocable trust can be used to safeguard your assets from nursing home spend-down.
DON’T GIFT YOUR SAVINGS
If you would like to have some savings set aside for your children to inherit, do NOT gift it to them to avoid it being spent down for nursing home care. When applying for Medicaid, they will look into your finances for the last five years.
Gifts and other asset transfers are penalized, which means you will be prevented from receiving Medicaid for a certain length of time. The length of time is dependent on the average cost of nursing home care in your state and the amount of money and assets gifted. Setting up an asset protection plan with your elder law attorney is always the best solution.
Planning for long-term elder care and asset protection takes time and careful attention. If you or a loved one could benefit from an irrevocable trust, please contact The Law Offices of Sean Patrick Cox, PLLC at 616-942-6404.