Medicaid planning is one of the most important things for you to do if you hope to protect your assets and if you want to make sure you are able to get care you need as you get older. Unfortunately, many people have misconceptions about Medicaid planning or they make mistakes during the process that can cost them.
Sinclair Prosser Gasior can help. If you don’t understand the Medicaid planning process and you want to make sure you are able to protect your wealth as you get older, you should give us a call. We can provide personalized advice on whether you need a Medicaid plan and can help you to avoid common errors in plan creation.
Call now to get started on working with a compassionate and knowledgeable member of our legal team or read on to find out about some of the most common mistakes people make in the Medicaid planning process.
Not Creating a Medicaid Plan
Failing to create a Medicaid plan at all is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Medicaid is likely the only source of payment for nursing home, as Medicare and private insurance won’t cover most care seniors need and as long-term care insurance is often too expensive to buy.
With Wall Street Journal reporting a person who reaches 65 will have a 40 percent chance of ending up in a nursing home, you need to put a Medicaid plan in place unless you want to end up impoverishing yourself to pay for nursing home care that insurance won’t cover.
Waiting too Long to Make a Medicaid Plan
There is a five year lookback rule when it comes to determining if you can become eligible for Medicaid to cover nursing home care or not. The five year lookback rule involves a review of transactions in the five year period before you apply for Medicaid to pay for your care. If you gave away wealth or transferred assets for less than they were worth, this leads to temporary disqualification from Medicaid coverage.
While there are options for crisis planning if you need Medicaid right away and haven’t made plans to get covered, you can protect the maximum value of your assets if you act early and put plans in place before you need care.
Not Using the Right Tools to Protect Assets
Many people mistakenly think that a living trust will provide them protection for their assets if they transfer their wealth so the trust owns money and property. Unfortunately, if you create a living trust, you typically retain a substantial amount of control over the trust and its assets.
Because you’re still in control and trust assets are accessible to you, the assets held in the living trust are typically going to be considered countable assets for purposes of determining if you can qualify for Medicaid coverage. This means a living trust doesn’t actually provide protection for assets if you need nursing home care.
Giving Away Wealth
Another big mistake many people make is just giving away money and property when they find they will need to move to a nursing home.
For example, if you have a lot of money in the bank and you know you are going to have to move to a care facility, you may decide to just write your child a big check. Unfortunately, the problem is that this transfer could result in temporary disqualification from Medicaid.
While you can give away wealth to a charity or to a loved one for many different reasons, giving away your assets shortly before you need Medicaid to cover your care is not a successful Medicaid planning strategy.
Getting Help from Medicaid Planning Attorneys
To find out more about how our firm can help you to ensure that you keep your wealth safe and secure even if you must go into a nursing home, give us a call at 410-573-4818 or contact us online to get your plans underway.