elder in wheelchair

You may not want to think about the possibility that, one day, you may reach a certain physical and mental capacity that requires your loved ones to place you in a nursing home. Unfortunately, this is a highly possible reality that you must properly prepare for. This is because it must have been difficult enough for your loved ones to reach this decision, so you do not want to also leave them with the financial burden of paying your nursing home bills. Continue reading to learn how to protect your assets from nursing home costs and how an experienced Broward County advance healthcare directive lawyer at The Probate Lawyers can help you account for this in your estate plan.

How can an estate plan protect my assets from nursing home costs?

In your estate plan, you may be able to put money aside for your long-term care insurance. This money may be used to pay your monthly premiums, along with your outstanding medical bills, if you become incapacitated and unable to keep up with this yourself. In the end, this strategy protects your loved ones from having to pay out-of-pocket for your nursing home bills. All the while, this allows you to leave a greater financial legacy for your loved ones on the day that you, unfortunately, pass on.

Instead of opting for long-term care insurance, you may consider applying for Medicaid coverage. Generally speaking, the plan you choose is dependent on the quantity and quality of assets that make up your estate.

How can I qualify for Medicaid planning?

Of note, not everyone is eligible for Medicaid planning. This is exclusively offered to individuals with very few assets and an overall low-value estate. Though, there are strategies in which you may depress the value of your estate without having to spend down your assets. Examples of such strategies are as follows:

  • You may transfer your assets into income via a Medicaid-compliant annuity.
  • You may transfer your assets to your trustee via an irrevocable living trust.
  • You may transfer your assets to your loved ones via a financial gift.
  • You may transfer your assets to your loved ones via a life estate.

It is important that you make these asset transfers at least five years prior to applying for Medicaid coverage. This is because there is a Medicaid “look-back” period, which reviews your financial transactions made within this five-year period. If such asset transfers are detected, then you may be subject to a penalty period.

With all that being said, you should not have to go through this Medicaid planning process alone. Instead, you should seek the assistance of a skilled Broward County estate lawyer from The Probate Lawyers. Contact our firm today.