What is your Medicaid strategy?
That’s a question that you don’t often hear, but could be important to you as you age. We’re all going to grow older and the ability to be independent is very important to many people. Many people feel that they will end up spending their life savings on a long-term care facility and when the money runs out, they are not sure what they will do. Most will turn to Medicaid, but only after they have exhausted all of their other resources. This doesn’t have to be the case and this is where an Elder Law attorney can help you to preserve some of your life savings.
Medicaid is different from state to state, so it is necessary to know the rules you have to follow. This can be a little confusing, but, with help, is attainable:
QUALIFY FOR MEDICAID
The first step is to qualify for Medicaid. It is not automatic. Your income and assets must fall below your state’s allowable threshold. The state determines how much money you can make to pay your bills and receive Medicaid. There are ways around some of this, however, because some of your assets may be exempt.
COUNTABLE ASSETS AND EXEMPT ASSETS
A countable asset is anything that the state considers that allows you to make money and can be used towards your care bills. An exempt asset is something that you own and is worth something, but does not grant you immediate access. By arranging your finances now, you can exchange some of the countable assets for ones that cannot be touched. Each state has a list, required by federal law that can help you make these changes.
SAVING YOUR FAMILY HOME AND MORE
Most people do not want to see their nest eggs vanish in a matter of months. They have worked their entire lives and they would like to pass on something to their families, but illness or the loss of independence seemingly prohibits this. The family home is often filled with fond memories and there is an unwillingness to let it go. Well, this can often be saved!
So what can one do?
You can purchase exempt assets. In many states, you can save certain assets that will not be counted. These include:
- The Family Home
- Prepaid Burial Plots
- One Automobile
- Term Life Insurance
The best plan is to talk to someone who understands the laws on preserving your assets. With a little bit of help, you can save a good portion of your life savings for your loved ones and/or living spouse or partner, yet still receive the Medicaid you require.
For more information, contact the Kabb Law Firm (216) 991-KABB (5222)