As people age, trying to make sure they’ll be able to get the care they need is a top priority. For some, this will mean that they will need to qualify for Medicaid. Unfortunately, having assets that you want to pass down to your family members could mean that you don’t qualify for the program.
One thing that some people don’t realize is just how expensive it is to get long-term care. In 2019, the median cost of care per month in Florida was:
- A semi-private room in a nursing home: $8,547
- A private room in a nursing home: $9,387
- A room in an assisted living facility: $3,500
Medicaid is a needs-based program that looks at your assets during the application process. It’s possible for you to undergo the Medicaid planning process when you’re working on your estate plan. One of the options that you have is to establish trusts that enable you to pass down assets to your heirs.
In order to be an effective tool, the trust must be irrevocable, so you aren’t able to change the terms of the trust or receive any of the value of it. There are different types of irrevocable trusts, so you need to consider the circumstances surrounding the assets and beneficiary prior to deciding on a specific trust. There’s also the matter of the lookback period prior to applying for Medicaid. This is a 60-month period in which the transfer, gifting or sale of assets is considered.
You should discuss the specifics of your case with your attorney so they can help you to determine what types of estate planning tools will be useful in your case. No one plan is right for everyone.