Long-term care planning is nothing to put off and should, by all accounts, be considered a priority for anyone. Most people do not plan to end up in a nursing home or need support as they get older, but this is a growing concern. What’s worse, most insurance companies – and Medicare itself – are unlikely to provide funding for long-term care needs.
For many seniors, the end result is the need to sell off their assets to pay for the care they need and then, eventually, to rely on Medicaid to help with nursing home costs. That is a costly loss of quality of life for many. Yet, with the help of a Long-Term Care Planning Attorney with experience in Medicaid Planning and Eldercare, there may be other options.
Are You a Part of the Sandwich Generation?
The sandwich generation is currently facing an increasingly challenging situation. This generation, who are mostly in their 40s and 50s now, are now watching as their parents age and need more extensive care and support, while they are still raising their own family. So they are “sandwiched” between 2 generations that need their care and support. They recognize that, at this point, it may be hard for elderly parents to protect their assets and minimize the costs and risks associated with needing long-term care.
Some research indicates that, by 2050, the life expectancy for women will reach 93.3 years and 85.9 years for males. That is more than a decade longer than what that figure is today. Longer life is fantastic, of course, but it also means financial planning for the future needs to be a priority now for the sandwich generation.
There Are Legal Strategies That Can Help with Long-term Care Planning
With the help of an Elder Law Attorney, there are several opportunities available. First, it may be possible to preserve some of your parents’ assets so they do not have to sell them off to pay for long-term care. Second, it is time to start planning for your own future needs. With a bit of help, it may be possible to ease your mind about what is to come in the future.
“A skilled Elder Law Attorney can help your loved one structure their assets in a way that shields them from the potentially ruinous costs of nursing homes. Options like creating a Medicaid-compliant annuity, an irrevocable trust, or a life estate can protect their money and property while ensuring they still have access to the care they need,” shares Barry Siegel, Esq.
As the author of “Caught In The Middle: Juggling Your Elderly Parents’ Affairs While Raising Your Own Family,” Boca Raton Attorney Barry Siegel, founder of The Siegel Law Group P.A., is working to help people in South Florida learn what legal options are available to them. The book is specifically geared towards helping elderly parents with their affairs while also having to juggle the unique needs of their family. It is not easy to do by any means, but there are legal strategies that can be supportive.
Consider Medicaid Planning
One of the tools a Medicaid Planning and Elder Law Attorney in Boca Raton can do is to provide support for long-term care and Medicaid planning. Medicaid looks at numerous factors to determine if a person may qualify for financial support for their long-term healthcare needs. That includes what assets are owed, their value, real property sources, and income. Medicaid also restricts access to coverage if you give your assets away. However, several solutions exist, including:
- Medicaid asset protection trusts, a type of irrevocable trust that will protect assets and eliminate their impact on Medicaid qualification
- Irrevocable funeral trusts, a type of trust that can be set up to pay for the applicant’s funeral needs upfront
- Spend down, a method of spending excess assets by investing in excluded assets or paying for other expenses
- Spousal transfers, a method of transferring income or assets between two spouses when one is in a nursing home
- Lady bird deeds, a way of maintaining ownership of the home during the lifetime while still meeting the requirements of Medicaid qualifications
- Qualified income trusts and miller trusts, additional trusts that can help with income over the limit for qualification of other trusts
These scenarios are complex initially, but many individuals who learn about their access are able to apply these strategies to their current needs to protect their future. Creative trust drafting is, at the core, one of the most powerful financial tools for today’s elderly individual who owns assets. It is critical to ensure that you have the right strategy in place and meet all of the goals required of Medicaid to minimize any financial complications over time.
This is where working with a legal team can be critically important. Before you apply for Medicaid, make financial decisions about selling property, or try to hide assets, reach out to a trusted legal team who can offer some insight into the solutions available right now.
Looking Into the Future
In the coming months and years, it may be essential to focus on helping to support your parents’ specific financial needs, giving them the tools and insight they need to make better decisions to protect their assets. Yet, do not overlook the importance of putting strategies like these in place for your future as well.
With the help of a well-qualified Medicaid Planning Attorney and Elder Law Attorney, you can learn about the tools available to protect your finances and still ensure you and your loved one receive the type and level of care you need.
Call THE South Florida Medicaid Planning Attorneys – The Siegel Law Group
Navigating Eldercare can be a challenge and a heart-wrenching situation for many. Yet, those who put in place a plan to minimize the frustrations faced during this time can protect their loved ones from that pain and suffering. The key here is meeting with an Estate and Medicaid Planning Attorney as early on as possible. With the help of our professionals, you can explore the legal options available to fit your specific needs.
Call our office at (561) 576-6206 to schedule a complimentary consultation, or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.