How to Protect Assets from Nursing Homes
It’s difficult to know ahead of time if long-term care is in your future, but many older adults need this type of care at some point in their life. That may be round-the-clock care in a nursing home or assistance with daily tasks and care at home.
Skilled nursing facilities, or nursing homes, care for those who need constant nursing, therapy, and non-medical care. When you need care, the cost can be overwhelming, especially for families with a low or medium income. Medicaid, or MassHealth in Massachusetts, is a government health insurance option that can help take certain expenses off you if you’re qualified. However, this coverage has strict asset and income guidelines, and without help, it’s easy to be disqualified.
The cost of long-term care can be high and in a short time, it can drain your accounts without the proper plan in place. There are many strategies for safeguarding your assets, and a trusted lawyer like Matthew Karr, Esq., can guide you through your options.
Unsure how to protect your assets so you can qualify for MassHealth Standard coverage for long-term care in case you ever need care from a nursing home? Our attorney at The Heritage Law Center can review those options with you and help you plan for the future. If you’re concerned about protecting your assets, reach out for the guidance you need.
A Medicaid Trust Can Protect Your Assets
A Medicaid trust is an irrevocable trust that can protect your assets from being counted for Medicaid eligibility. Once you create the trust, it can’t be changed or revoked. The trust is managed by a third party you name as trustee. As the person who created the trust, you don’t have access to the assets so they are no longer seen as part of your estate.
When you apply for MassHealth, they have the right to review your finances for the previous five years. Assets that have been in your Medicaid trust for at least those five years won’t count as your assets for MassHealth eligibility.
Setting up a Medicaid trust allows you to protect assets to pass them down to your loved ones and still qualify for MassHealth coverage. Planning in advance will put you in the best position for coverage should you need long-term care down the line.
Create a Life Estate
A life estate is a deed in which two or more people each have ownership of real property, but they have it for different periods of time. It transfers the future ownership interest in your primary residence to the person(s) you choose while you retain the exclusive right to use the house for the rest of your life. As the original owner, you can live in the house for the remainder of your life without being removed, and without the risk of losing your home during a long-term health care situation.
A life estate allows you to maintain ownership over your residence if you’re admitted to a nursing home because you need long-term care. When you pass away, ownership transfers outside of probate to the person you named on the deed. Taking this step can also help you qualify for MassHealth because it removes a major asset, your house, from your estate.
Financial Gifts and Protected Assets
Protecting your assets from a nursing home can be done by designating certain assets now for charity or gifts. Lowering your financial worth by giving cash gifts and purchasing large items can help you use your assets the way you want to use them without losing them to the high costs of long-term care.
However, there are dollar limits and only certain items qualify for these gifts and certain charitable actions. Speaking with an attorney will ensure that you are following the laws without penalty.
For more information on MassHealth planning and asset protection, check out our free report.
Plan and Protect Your Assets with a Lawyer
When you or a loved one is planning ahead for a possible stay in a nursing home, you may be worried about the drain of medical expenses and scams or abuses that can hurt your family’s financial security. Acting now, before long-term care costs are incurred, can give you or your loved one peace of mind that important assets are being protected.
Matthew Karr, Esq., understands that safeguarding your assets is key. He’s here to use his skills and expertise to help you strategize, complete the right paperwork, and ensure your assets are protected. We offer free consultations and free reports about asset protection as you plan ahead for the possibility that one day you might need a nursing home stay.
Ensure you have the plans in place for the potential need for nursing home care in the future by reaching out for a free consultation. Connect with Matthew Karr, Esq., and The Heritage Law Center today by calling 617-299-6976 or completing the online form below to start protecting your assets today.