Medicaid Planning Frequently Asked Questions
In the United States, long-term health care is extremely expensive. Many people who find that they are facing a diagnosis like Alzheimer’s or other degenerative conditions may not have the money to pay for the care that they need. Even some people who have saved money may find themselves destitute after spending all their money on medical care. Fortunately, the United States has a program called Medicaid, which helps low-income people access medical services including long-term care. To be eligible for Medicaid you need to fall below a certain income and asset limit. Medicaid planning can help people of modest means meet the Medicaid eligibility requirements without spending their entire life savings.
What is Medicaid Planning?
Medicaid planning is a way to manage your assets so that you meet the income and asset limits for Medicaid, which will pay for long-term care. Medicaid planning is completely legal and is meant for people who otherwise would be completely wiped out financially by the costs of long-term care. Medicaid planning allows these people to get the long-term care they need while still being able to leave a modest inheritance or gifts to family.
Is Medicaid Planning Ethical?
Some people may feel like taking advantage of Medicaid planning is unethical or sneaky. Of course no one is required to do Medicaid planning if they do not want to. However, it is legal and ethical according to an article in the Florida Bar Journal and the standard Medicaid planning techniques are well accepted in estate planning.
What are Common Medicaid Planning Tools?
Some of the most common Medicaid planning tools include annuities and life estates. Annuities a financial product where you put in a large amount of money and then it pays you out a small amount of money each month. For Medicaid planning purposes this tool works better for married people, but may not be an appropriate tool for single people. Like everything else, the right plan for you will depend on your specific situation.
Life estates are a way to transfer ownership of property while still keeping the legal right to live in that property. What would happen is a person would give their house to their children or other heirs except keep a life estate in the home. This allows the person to live in the home until they die. There are now other requirements that must also be met.
Who Can Help With Medicaid Planning?
The Supreme Court of Florida issued an opinion that only allows licensed attorneys to help clients with Medicaid planning. Any non-lawyers who engage in Medicaid planning can be found guilty of practicing law without a license.
The Villages Medicaid Planning Attorneys
If you are thinking about Medicaid planning or other long-term care planning tools, you need a skilled attorney to help you find the best scenario for your goals and situation. Our experienced Medicaid planning attorneys at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group located in The Villages can help create a plan that makes the most sense for you while conserving your assets.