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Baldwin County Medicaid Planning Attorney

You have worked a lifetime to save up your assets. You do not want to have to use all of them in long-term care. However, that is exactly what nursing homes expect you to do.

With proper estate planning, there is a way to get the care that you or a family member needs and still preserve your assets to pass along to the next generation. In order to do that and protect your assets from nursing homes and long-term care, you need to plan ahead before those services are needed.

A Baldwin County Medicaid planning attorney at The Law Offices of Brenton C. McWilliams can help you put together a plan to protect your estate so you can pass on something to your loved ones without using it for long-term care later in life.

Protect Assets from Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities

Long-term care is prohibitively expensive and getting more so. The average cost of long-term care is quickly closing in on $100,000 per year. Cost escalation has gotten much worse, given the cost that nursing homes are facing in the wake of COVID-19. The death rate of nursing home residents has increased, so facilities have less revenue in addition to increased expenses. They are looking to close that gap by charging you and your family more. Not only will you potentially run out of money, but it may happen in a hurry. There are ways to get the care that you or your loved one needs and ease the financial burden on your family.

But if you don’t act now, you may be forced to use all of your savings on long-term care. If you are planning on passing assets down to your loved ones, there may be nothing left. Let an experienced elder law attorney help you preserve and protect your assets from the high cost of long-term care.

Medicaid Income and Asset Criteria in Alabama

In Alabama, the Medicaid program can cover your nursing home cost. However, there are strict Medicaid income limits and Medicaid asset limits you must meet. Alabama has a five-year look-back at the time of your application for assistance from Medicaid, where the state will check to see if you transferred assets that out of your ownership or possession in the five years leading up to the application for Medicaid. If you made transfers during the look-back period, your qualification for Medicaid may be delayed through a transfer penalty. Therefore, you must act while you are healthy and before you reach an advanced age.

Trusts Can Move Assets Out of Your Name

You would typically form a trust to protect your assets. The key is that you do not have any control or decision-making power over these assets. You hand that over to a trustee. Making decisions is one of the prime indicators of ownership. If you have a revocable trust or you still have control over your money, it will functionally still be in your name.

How a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust Works

The most common tool used for Medicaid planning is called a Medicaid asset protection trust. You will need to put all of your assets into this trust, potentially including your home. You can still continue to live in your home, even if it is in the trust. Medicaid also has income limits, so you need to be careful about how much money your trust investments make and where the income goes. To help with this, you can contact a trusted estate planning attorney who is familiar with the Medicaid asset and income limits and how to navigate them.

A Medicaid asset protection trust is a vital part of any estate plan with a strategy to protect from the costs of long-term care. An elder law attorney can advise you on your options and the proper structure for setting up this crucial trust.

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

The Law Offices of Brenton C. McWilliams works with families to devise effective estate plans to help protect their assets from foreseeable and unforeseeable costs associated with nursing homes and long-term care facilities. They also focus on estate planning, probate law, and estate administration to make sure your family gets to keep the assets you worked a lifetime for. To get started on Medicaid planning for your estate, contact an elder law attorney at our office for a consultation today.

Medicaid Planning FAQs

Is a Medicaid asset protection trust worth the investment?
While it costs money to establish this trust, it pales in comparison to a near six-figure annual long-term care bill eating into your estate savings. Going through the legal process of creating a Medicaid asset protection trust can help your family plan their future.

Can I set up a trust on my own?
There is nothing that says that you need an attorney, but trusts can be complex, and any mistake can have serious impacts on your finances. It’s always advisable to contact an experienced trust attorney to help make sure your assets are protected properly.

Are there any alternatives to a Medicaid asset protection trust?
Some families have used annuities to transfer assets, while others may simply spend down their assets. You may also try to find ways to reduce your income to be eligible for Medicaid. An elder law attorney can help you make the best decisions to protect your assets.

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