Seniors’ Assets Can Be Protected Through Medicaid Planning
Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 5, 2014 – With careful financial planning, many people are able to enjoy a comfortable retirement and leave a substantial estate to their heirs. But one often-unconsidered factor has the potential to add a large additional expense to the balance sheet: the possibility that one will require long-term care in a skilled nursing facility.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, most people over age 65 will require long-term care services of some type in their lifetime, and 40 percent will require nursing home care for some period of time. Many people pay for such care with their savings until the funds are exhausted, at which point they then rely on Medicaid. However, according to a prominent Virginia elder law attorney, a person can protect one’s estate while still ensuring that long-term care will be available.
“By taking an anticipatory approach, one can plan for possible future long-term care needs while still preserving some assets,” said Andrew Hook, an estate planning and elder law attorney with the Hook Law Center. “Our firm takes a comprehensive approach, looking at sources of funding like public benefits and long-term care insurance, while considering several methods of asset restructuring and wealth preservation.”
Hook cautioned that Medicaid planning involves many complexities and should only be done with the advice of an experienced elder law or estate planning attorney. While there are methods to legally and ethically preserve some assets while still meeting the income and eligibility requirements of Medicaid, there are rules that must be carefully followed in order to achieve the desired outcome.