On average, Americans are living longer now than ever before, and for an increasing number of Baby Boomers in Louisiana, that means having to confront the high costs of nursing home care or assisted living.
The reality is that the cost of nursing home care can effectively wipe out a person’s savings, but there are strategies for protecting your assets.
“Medicaid planning” refers generally to legal planning designed to ensure that a person is eligible for Medicaid benefits, which can be a great help in defraying the cost of nursing home care or assisted living.
The reality is that you may have worked your entire life and accumulated significant assets and savings, but your estate could still be drained by nursing home costs. That is why Medicaid planning is so important.
Every situation is different, though, and an effective strategy may involve a combination of solutions for preserving assets for your loved ones while also ensuring that you qualify for Medicaid benefits.
For example, a customized Medicaid strategy might integrate all of the following elements to protect assets and defray costs:
- An irrevocable trust
- Long-term care insurance
- VA benefits (Aid and Attendance)
- Wealth transfers
- Spending down at the right time
Be aware of the five-year look back period.
Financial eligibility is a major aspect of Medicaid eligibility. One way of making certain that you qualify for Medicaid benefits is to transfer assets to someone else, usually a loved one or a charitable cause.
However, you could be denied long-term services under Medicaid if you transfer assets for less than their fair market value during the five years prior to your Medicaid application. In other words, wealth transfers must be done properly, just as an irrevocable trust must be created and coordinated properly in order to protect eligibility for Medicaid benefits.
At Nicaud & Sunseri Law Firm, LLC Law Firm, we help people in Metairie and throughout Greater New Orleans achieve a variety of elder law solutions, including effective Medicaid planning. If you have questions about any of these matters, get answers from an experienced elder law and succession attorney.