A lot of estate planning focuses on how your assets are going to be distributed once you’re gone. In fact, you can use estate planning to ensure that your future interests are protected throughout your life, including obtaining much-needed medical and long-term care.
Why you need to consider Medicaid planning
Long-term care and extensive medical care can be enormously expensive. It can easily eat away at your estate to the point that you have nothing left. Through sound Medicaid planning, you can find a way to protect some of your estate while reducing the assets that you own and your income in a way that allows you to qualify for Medicaid.
How to plan
There are a number of strategies that can help you qualify for Medicaid. One option is to use a Miller trust, also known as a qualified income trust. Here, you place the bulk of your assets into a trust so that your income is drastically reduced to ensure that you qualify for Medicaid. Your assets in the trust may be used to help offset the costs paid by Medicaid, but at least this way you receive the care that you need without leaving your loved ones on the hook.
You can also start planning early by gifting assets to loved ones and utilizing other estate planning vehicles to reduce your assets. This may be the best way to ensure that your assets stay with your family. There are some limitations and restrictions here, though, so be sure to discuss them with your estate planning attorney.
Seek the help that you need
Medicaid planning takes a lot of advance preparation. That’s why now may be the best time for you to start that discussion with an attorney of your choosing.