Long-term asset protection - Young nurse and female senior in a wheel chair going for a walk

Long-Term Care Asset Protection – What Do I Need to Know?

Over the years, many people have asked me about long-term care asset protection in light of Medicaid spend-down requirements.  How many?  Hundreds, possibly thousands.  And yet, how is possible it that so many people do little or no planning for long-term care and wait for a crisis to occur?  

Long-Term Care Asset Protection Laws Have Changed

In years past, this was somewhat understandable. Twenty or so years ago laws related to long-term care and asset preservation were fairly unsettled compared to now. Consequently, the strategies were relatively unsophisticated.  This is no longer the case. 

Today, however, couples and individuals who seek to engage in long-term care asset preservation must proactively engage in up-to-date strategies that are based on accepted estate planning principles.  While subject to state laws and regulations, many of these asset strategies can even be put into effect at the onset of a long-term care crisis.

One example of a planning tool that is designed to protect the assets of a loved one requiring long-term care is the Medicaid asset protection trust.  It is an irrevocable gifting trust whereby a grantor (i.e., a parent, grandparent) retains some power and a modicum of control while protecting gifted assets from the claims of beneficiary creditors. It may also offer some favorable tax advantages. Unfortunately, this protection tool is underutilized by the estate planning community, especially considering the potential power and the flexibility it provides to accomplish elder and long-term care goals. 

Be sure your estate planning attorney is well-versed in laws related to protecting assets and long-term care. Learning about modern techniques for long-term care and asset protection is simply a matter of scheduling an elder law consultation. Doing so generally opens a world of possibilities through education and counseling.  So don’t be “stuck in the ‘80s” or even the ‘70s or ‘60s when it comes to understanding what your family needs to know about long-term care asset preservation.  

To schedule a time to meet with Stephen Elville to discuss your family’s needs related to long-term care asset protection or any estate planning, elder law or special needs planning matter, contact him at steve@elvilleassociates.com, or by phone at 443-393-7696 x108.

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