Millions of Americans rely on Medicaid as they age, because they cannot otherwise afford the cost of long-term nursing home care and other expenses. Medicaid is means tested, meaning that qualifying for Medicaid often requires completely draining your assets. If you establish a Medicaid Planning Trust to protect some or all of those assets, however, you can qualify for Medicaid and still keep your assets plus have something to leave for your loved ones.
The average monthlycosts for nursing home care exceed $6,000.00 while the average nursing home stay is over two years. That can mean a significant portion of your life’s savings is forfeit if you don’t have a plan. If you require a longer stay, it can mean all of your life savings will be gone.
The most important part of planning for Medicaid Long Term Care is the five-year lookback, meaning you must create and transfer your assets to your Medicaid Planning Trust five years before you need to qualify for Medicaid Long Term Care benefits. Otherwise, you will likely lose all or some of your estate because of spend-down requirements.
Don’t be confused, Medicare does not provide assistance for long term care.
Medicaid Planning vs. Probate Avoidance
Medicaid Planning Trusts are different from Probate Avoidance Trusts, so you should understand the differences. Medicaid Planning Trusts have to be outside of the settlor’s control so that assets cannot be counted by the government. This means you will need a trusted loved one to be in charge of your trust. It also means your trust cannot be revoked or amended by you in the future – as such control may make your assets countable by the government.
A Medicaid Planning Trust is worth the investment if you believe you will need government assistance to help cover nursing home costs in the future.
Contact Us For A Free Initial Consultation
Field Law is based in Baton Rouge, but we serve clients throughout Louisiana. We are also pleased to work with clients outside the state on matters related to Louisiana estate law and successions. To arrange a free consultation, call us at 225-341-8221, or send us an email.