As you get older, the realization that you may need to enter a nursing home at some point down the line dawns on you. At this stage in your life, you’re healthy and in good shape, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always be that way.
Many people fall back on Medicaid once they go to a nursing home, but before you can, you must have limited assets. That means that you’ll have to use all your hard-earned assets if they’re not protected.
Start Medicaid planning early to protect your assets
Your goal with Medicaid planning should be to protect your assets from the high cost of nursing home care. Some possible options include placing your assets into irrevocable trusts and gifting them to others long before you have to enter into a nursing home.
Why is it important to plan ahead for Medicaid and long-term care?
The primary reason is that it’s expensive. A single room in a nursing home has an average cost of $8,121 if it’s private and $7,148 if it’s semi-private. That money would go a long way in a normal home, but in a medical facility, it’s only a short month’s stay.
Knowing the high cost of monthly nursing home care, it’s easy to see how nursing home costs can quickly drain your assets. Your nursing home may be even more expensive by the time you’re in the position to need it.
Why work with an estate planning attorney to prepare for long-term care?
Even if you’re healthy now, the reality is that no one knows how they’ll be in the future. Many people end up needing long-term care when they didn’t imagine they ever would. Not having the funds set aside for this care or having protections in place for your own assets will drain your estate, which is the last thing you want.
An estate-planning and long-term care planning attorney will help you consider options like trusts and gifts that you can give to beneficiaries, so that your assets appear to be low enough for Medicaid. That way, you’ll be able to fall back on the federal program without having to worry about your life savings being used up or leaving nothing to your children or beneficiaries who were left behind. Your attorney can help you find out more about the different trusts and options that are available to help you avoid penalties and taxation on your estate, too.