Medicaid - Long Term Care - Asset Protection Planning
Most of us hope to spend our later years in our own homes. Others prefer the comfort and care provided by assisted living. Sometimes, due to severe illness or other causes, we may require more assistance than our families can provide. Whatever the circumstances,a substantial percentage of all persons over age 70 spend their last years in an assisted living or nursing home facility.
The average cost of staying in an assisted living facility in Utah is about $3000 a month. The average cost of nursing home care is $5000 per month for a semi-private room and $6000 per month for a private room. Medicare does not provide for assisted living or nursing home care for more than 100 days at the maximum. The only public program available to assist with the cost of assisted living or nursing home care is Medicaid. But Medicaid only provides aid if you are “sick and broke.”
To be “sick” enough for Medicaid assistance you only have to have problems with certain activities of daily living. To be “broke” enough for Medicaid, you can not have more than $2,000.00 and certain other exempt assets. And if you try to qualify by giving away your property within five years before needing assistance, you are penalized by delaying qualifying for a substantial period of time. During this time you find yourself in a catch two situation where you have given away all of your assets, and have no way now to pay for the care you need during a prolonged penalty period that may last for several years.
It turns out that there are ways around this dilemma, but the rules are extremely complex and the path is strewn with pitfalls. We have spent the last several years learning the rules and learning various pathways through the minefields. We have been assisting clients through this maze for some time. We call this Medicaid Asset Protection Planning.
There are times when clients need to do Asset Protection Planning of a more traditional kind. They may be in particularly risky businesses, or have other reasons that traditional insurance may not be sufficient to protect their assets. There are a number of ways to shield one's assets from unforeseen claims, depending on the circumstances. Among the methods of protecting your assets is the preparation of an Asset Protection Trust, or the formation of a business entity, such as a limited liability company or corporation.
Whatever your circumstances, we have substantial experience dealing with these issues.