Asset Protection Lawyers Helping Older Adults
It is often difficult to think about getting older and the possibility of requiring long-term care. Yet the costs of long-term care and the need for asset protection are issues that all seniors and their families should be thinking about. One of the key goals of elder law and asset protection is to allow older adults to maintain the money and assets they have saved over the course of their lives without needing to spend that money on nursing home care. According to the Florida Health Care Association, the median annual cost of care for a private room in a Florida nursing home is $100,375 while the median annual cost of care for a shared room is $89,297. For most seniors, those costs are not feasible without Medicaid or long-term care insurance.
Our attorneys can help you to strategize about ways to retain your assets and to leave property to your heirs while still having the ability to obtain necessary long-term care.
Understanding the Medicaid Look-Back Period
For most older adults, long-term care in a nursing home will need to be covered by Medicaid. In order to qualify for Medicaid, you will need to spend down your savings since Medicaid is a federal program that provides benefits for low-income people. For older adults who have spent decades working and saving money, the prospect of having to spend down a life’s savings can be devastating. You may have options for protecting your assets while qualifying for Medicaid, which we will explain below.
Yet first, it is critical to understand that it is not an option to simply transfer your property to a family member or friend when you need Medicaid coverage for long-term care in order to “spend down” your assets. Medicaid has a “look-back period,” which means that any property transfers made within five years of seeking Medicaid coverage for long-term care will result in a penalty. Rather than transferring assets and being penalized, you should work with a asset protection lawyer to consider other options.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Buying long-term care insurance can be extremely helpful for seniors, and it can protect assets. There are many different types of long-term care insurance policies, and it is essential to seek advice from a lawyer about the type of long-term care insurance that is best for you and is most likely to help protect your valuable property from Medicaid and the high costs of nursing homes in Florida.
Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts
Beyond long-term care insurance, another possible option for you is a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT). This is a type of irrevocable trust that can allow you to preserve assets for your beneficiaries (your family members or friends), and the assets in that trust will not count against your eligibility for Medicaid coverage.
Our asset protection attorneys can help you to establish a trust to protect your property.
Seek Advice from an Elder Law and Asset Protection Attorney
Whether you need help with asset protection planning for yourself or for an elderly loved one, one of our experienced asset protection attorneys can speak with you today about your circumstances. Contact Gilbert Garcia Group, P.A. to learn more about how we assist clients with elder law and asset protection strategies.