One important reason for estate planning is to ensure that you are financially prepared not only for retirement but for the possibility that you or your spouse may require long-term care as you age. At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., our Medicaid planning attorneys have the well-developed skills to help you make sure that your future healthcare needs are met while your home, often your most valuable property, is protected from Medicaid (MassHealth).
Why Protecting Your Home From Medicaid Is Vital
The need for nursing care is extremely common, affecting 70 percent of all Americans over the age of 65. Several pertinent facts make it critical to preplan how long-term nursing care, should you require it, will be paid for. Although some individuals and families rely on long-term care insurance, this coverage is expensive and not practical for many of our firm’s Southeastern Massachusetts clients.
Most people depend on Medicaid for nursing care coverage, but, since this government benefit is needs-based, they must take steps to lower their assets to be eligible. Our knowledgeable lawyers will help you face the daunting prospect of affording such care without depleting your life’s savings or putting your home at risk.
Protecting Your Home with Trusts and Carefully Planned Transfers
Our firm is experienced in establishing trusts and executing carefully planned transfers that align with legal standards, allowing you to maintain eligibility for Medicaid while preserving your home. Each of the following is an essential component of the services we provide:
- Irrevocable Trusts: By placing your home into an irrevocable trust, you can effectively remove it from your countable assets for Medicaid eligibility purposes. However, this must be done well in advance of applying for Medicaid due to the look-back period for eligibility; in Massachusetts, this period is 5 years.
- Life Estate Deeds: Life estate deeds are legal arrangements that grant you the right to live in your home for the duration of your life, while also outlining what happens to the property at your passing. Retaining a life estate in your property while deeding the remainder interest to your heirs protects your home, ensuring that you have a place to live while preserving your heirs’ inheritance.
- Caregiver Child Exemption: If your child has lived with and cared for you, making it possible for you to stay at home rather than in a nursing home, your home may be transferred to them without a Medicaid penalty.
As noted, in this process proper timing is crucial. You must take the necessary steps 60 months in advance for your transfers to comply with Medicaid regulations. That’s one of the reasons contacting our Medicaid attorneys as soon as possible is wise since no one knows what even the immediate future holds.
Strong Medicaid Planning Requires Individualized Attention
Every case is unique, so we make it a point to customize a Medicaid planning strategy to
meet your specific needs. Our capable elder care attorneys understand the complex laws
and regulations governing Medicaid eligibility and will provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you will be well taken care of if you one day require long-term care, and that if that happens your home, your family, and your legacy will remain secure.
Contact Our Experienced Medicaid Planning Attorneys Today
Estate planning is about thinking ahead. No matter what life stage you are in, life is full of unexpected occurrences, only some of which are delightful surprises. Now is the time to contact the competent, caring lawyers at Surprenant & Beneski to discuss your options and make wise choices to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the family home.