If you’re past the age of retirement, planning for the future is never more important. While you may be in perfect health now, things can change quickly as you get older, and it’s essential that you be prepared. When it comes to estate planning, accounting for all possibilities may not be the most pleasant task, but if you don’t consider all the outcomes, you may be unprepared financially for what could happen.
Considerations When it Comes to Estate Planning for the Future
When most people think of estate planning, what first comes to mind is making out a will or setting up a trust to ensure that the person’s loved ones are provided for after they pass. Other people may think of healthcare documents, understanding the importance of filling out a durable power of attorney or healthcare proxy in case the person should become incapacitated. Fewer people, though, consider the possibility of having to stay in a nursing home or other facility as they get older.
The fact of the matter is that long-term healthcare is very expensive and if you don’t consider the costs as part of your estate planning, you could be in for a shock. In fact, the average cost of a private room in a nursing home is over $100,000 a year. Even a home health aide will set you back over $50,000. And lest you think it won’t happen to you, studies show that 70 percent of people aged 65 and older will require some form of long-term care.
Medicaid for Long-Term Care
So what is to be done? One solution is Medicaid. In fact, more than half of nursing home residents rely on Medicaid to help cover costs. Enrolling in Medicaid, however, can be tricky. Eligibility is determined by your income and assets, but it is also subject to a five-year look-back period. This means that if your income and assets were over the limit at any time over that period, you won’t qualify.
When it comes to estate planning for Medicaid, then, long-term planning is key. Transferring assets into a trust or into the possession of trusted loved ones are two proven ways to get below the limit, but if you make the transfer at any time during the five-year period, this will negatively affect the benefits for which you qualify. Therefore, it’s never too early to start planning. Working with an experienced elder law and estate planning attorney can help you navigate the tricky Medicaid eligibility rules and ensure that you will be well taken care of—no matter what may happen.
Contact the Elder Law Attorneys at Deliberato Law Center
If you have any questions concerning Medicaid eligibility or any aspect of planning for the future, do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at Deliberato Law Center. Give us a call today at 216-341-3413 or fill out the form below to get started protecting yourself and your family.