Medicaid Planning Lawyer in Red Bank
With the skyrocketing costs of long-term healthcare, many older adults not only worry about being in a nursing home but how they will pay for it. Medicaid planning helps you preserve your assets and reduce the financial burden of a nursing home or home care. Margaret M. Mahon, Esq., LLC thoroughly understands the complicated Medicaid eligibility requirements and guides clients through every step of the process. Our goal is to give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your medical needs will be met and that your legacy is protected.
Planning for your future care and protecting your assets
There are several ways to pay for long-term care, including private insurance, private funds, veteran’s benefits, Medicare and Medicaid. For many Americans, the best option is Medicaid, because it pays the full cost of qualified care providers, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Medicare will cover your medical needs, but will not cover the round-the-clock care provided in nursing and assisted living facilities. However, the program has strict eligibility requirements, namely the depletion of most financial assets.
Through careful planning, many members of the middle class can qualify for Medicaid benefits by legally restructuring their assets. The plan may vary depending upon whether there is a community spouse. Common asset protection tools include:
- Making gifts to family members
- Transferring assets to an irrevocable trust
- Transferring the home to intended beneficiaries and retaining a life estate
- Establish contract for caregiver-child
Establishing an irrevocable special needs trust for the benefit of a disabled child
- Purchasing immediate annuities
- Spending down assets by prepaying funeral expenses, paying off a mortgage and other debts, making home repairs or purchasing a new vehicle
- The benefits of early Medicaid planning
The best way to protect your assets is to start Medicaid planning early. This means as early as age 60. Being proactive not only helps you qualify for benefits more quickly, but it also ensures that your assets are preserved for your beneficiaries.
Careful financial planning is also necessary to avoid Medicaid’s strict look-back period. Transferring assets to qualify for Medicaid benefits is not against the law. However, if you seek benefits within five years of making certain asset transfers, you could face steep penalties and compromise your eligibility. Common exceptions include the transfer of a home to an adult child who lived with you for at least two years and provided care that delayed the need for nursing home care and asset transfers for the sole benefit of a spouse or disabled child.
Finally, it is also important to make sure that you retain sufficient funds to maintain your standard of living before entering long-term care. To create a balanced asset protection plan that protects you today and tomorrow, it is always advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in elder law.
Contact our firm
Paying for long-term healthcare is a serious concern for aging adults. To discuss your options, contact Margaret M. Mahon, Esq., LLC today for a free 30-minute consultation. We offer flexible hours, free parking, and a convinient location.