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Can I protect my assets and still qualify for Medicaid?

As you lay the foundation for your elder care and prepare to leave your estate to beneficiaries, it is important to create a plan that works with Medicaid and other elder care subsidy benefits. These benefits vary from state to state, but in most cases, they are an essential part of how aging individuals stay healthy without completely exhausting their resources.

Unfortunately, most Medicaid benefits and other medical subsidy programs are only available to those who qualify for them. If you have too large a personal estate or too great an income, you may not qualify for assistance. Without subsidized assistance, many individuals see their retirement savings dry up, along with anything they hoped to leave to their loved ones.

Proper elder care planning can take these things into consideration and offer you a number of options. Depending on your circumstances and needs, you may find it advantageous to swap out some assets that count against you for assets that are exempt under Medicaid. You may also consider setting up an irrevocable trust to move assets outside of your estate to ensure you continue to qualify for assistance. These are only some of the options you may have available.

Dealing with these matters in a timely fashion may mean the difference between a long, fruitful life -- with all the financial help you need -- and one where you scrape by while your assets dwindle. Don't wait to keep your future safe. You can consult with an experienced elder law attorney to review your options and ensure that your rights and privileges remain secure.

Source: 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, "Medicaid Planning Basics," accessed Sep. 15, 2017

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