Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Five Ways Medicaid Asset Protection Planning Can Benefit You

Eventually, you may need to place a family member in a nursing home or assisted care facility. Unfortunately, the cost of long-term care is increasing each year. The average cost per month for a nursing home in California was approximately $7,450 for a semi-private room according to one 2015 survey. The cost for a private room was about $8,669 per month. For many seniors, the only way they can afford nursing home care is by applying for Medicaid benefits.

Medicaid can recoup some or all the benefits paid for nursing home care from your assets after your death. Hiring a California estate-planning lawyer to assist with Medicaid asset protection planning can protect your assets for your heirs. However, you need to begin asset protection planning now to have the best chance of preventing Medicaid from taking your assets to pay for nursing home care.

Reasons Why You Need Help Now with Medicaid Asset Protection Planning

Why should you contact our California estate-planning lawyer now about Medicaid planning?

Reason Number 1: Medicaid Qualification is Not Always Simple

Qualifying for Medicaid is not as simple as filling out an application and sending it to the proper government agency. Being elderly or needing nursing home care are not the only considerations that Medicaid reviews when processing an application for benefits. There are many complex rules regarding the financial requirements to qualify for Medicaid assistance.

If you have too many assets, it could take you months to qualify for Medicaid, or you may never qualify for benefits at all. Therefore, you should have a plan in place for how you can qualify for Medicaid if you need benefits to pay for long-term care.

Reason Number 2: Medicaid Exemptions

There are numerous ways to protect assets from Medicaid recovery, including exemptions for certain assets. Instead of spending down your assets trying to qualify for Medicaid, you may be able to take advantage of certain exemptions. However, you want to act now to title assets in a manner that gives you the best chance of protecting assets with exemptions. Waiting to review the potential exemptions could render some of the exemptions moot if you need to file for Medicaid benefits immediately.

Reason Number 3: Protecting Income

You may still qualify for Medicaid and earn a monthly income. However, if you exceed the maximum monthly income requirements, your application for Medicaid benefits will be denied. With a comprehensive retirement plan that is developed in conjunction with an estate plan, you can increase your chance of protecting assets while qualifying for Medicaid benefits.

Reason Number 4: Transferring Assets

You can transfer your assets to an heir, so that you qualify for Medicaid without worrying about the government taking assets away from your heirs in reimbursement of nursing home care. However, there is a 60-month look-back period for transfers. Therefore, you want to engage in Medicaid asset protection planning now so that you can transfer assets, if necessary, to avoid the 60-month look-back period for Medicaid eligibility.

Reason Number 5: You Have More Options Now

The sooner you begin working with a California estate planning lawyer, the more options you will have to protect assets and qualify for Medicaid benefits. There are several tools we can use in Medicaid asset protection planning that can give you the peace of mind of knowing your assets will not go to the state after your death and that you will qualify for Medicaid benefits if you need them.

However, the longer you wait to discuss asset protection planning with a California estate planning lawyer, the higher chance you will have of losing some of the methods and tools available for Medicaid asset protection planning.

Contact a California Estate Planning Lawyer for Assistance

Take steps now to protect your assets and your loved ones. Schedule a consult with the Law Offices of Berge & Berge today. Our estate planning lawyers can help you develop an estate plan and retirement plan that can give you the best chance of qualifying for Medicaid without risking any of your assets.

Archived Posts


Estate Planning and Elder Law News

© 2019 Law Offices of Berge & Berge LLP | Disclaimer
1101 S. Winchester Blvd, Suite I-208, San Jose, CA 95128
| Phone: (408) 389-6980

The LifePlan Program | Estate Planning | Estate Tax Planning | Business Succession Planning | Probate / Estate Administration | Elder Abuse/Conservatorships | Trust and Estate Planning | Public Benefits | Special Needs Planning | Trust Administration | | About Us | Forms | Resources

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative