Medicaid can be a great way for people with lower incomes to ensure that their health needs are met. In addition, it can be a useful tool for preparing for your health needs in your later years. Should something happen to you, and you need to stay in a nursing home, Medicaid can help, but in order to qualify, you will have to spend down most of your countable assets. This can mean that, if you don’t plan properly, you can lose most of your hard-owned possessions. Taking advantage of a Medicaid Asset Protection plan, though, can help you protect trust assets so that you don’t have to choose between your health and your personal belongings.
What is a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust?
A Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT) is an arrangement by which you transfer your assets to a trust so that they are no longer in your name. Since these assets are no longer legally yours, they do not count towards your Medicaid limit when it comes to nursing home costs. Although you do surrender ownership when you set up your Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, you retain some control over the assets in the trust. Most importantly, the assets are in the hands of a reliable trustee and will be distributed according to your wishes once you pass on.
When to Begin to Protect Trust Assets
It can be tricky to decide when to set up a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust. For much of your adult life, you’ll need to have direct access to these assets in your own name, so you can’t set up a MAPT too soon. On the other hand, you never know when you might need advanced medical care, such as a stay in a nursing home. When you apply for nursing home Medicaid, your financial picture of the past five years is considered, which means you’ll need to set up a MAPT well in advance of the time you may need Medicaid. As a result, knowing when to begin to protect trust assets is a tricky balance. Speaking with a trained estate planning or elder law attorney can help you decide what planning strategy is best for you.
Contact the Elder Law Attorneys at Deliberato Law Center
If you have any questions about protecting your assets from Medicaid, the experienced attorneys at Deliberato Law Center are here to help. We have many years of experience protecting the hard-earned personal belongings of our clients. Gives us a call today at 216-341-3413 or fill out the form below to get started.