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Protect Your Assets with Medicaid Planning For Long-Term Care

Protect Your Assets with Medicaid Planning For Long-Term Care

You spend your whole life saving money so you can enjoy your golden years unfettered by financial worries. But sometimes dreams get sidetracked. What would happen if you or a loved one experienced a stroke, a serious fall or some other malady that requires long-term care? Many senior citizens facing the heartbreak of serious illness are also faced with the real possibility of depleting their life savings to cover the cost of care.

Statistics show that 40% of people who reach the age of 65 will spend time in long-term care at some point in their lives. The costs for nursing home care have risen exponentially in recent years. Although the amount varies from state to state, the average cost for a nursing home stay is around $75,000 per year and the annual expense for residing in an assisted living facility is about $40,000.

In many cases, one spouse is in a long-term care facility while the other spouse must continue to pay mortgage, utilities, transportation costs and other household expenses. Unless you are extremely wealthy, it doesn’t take long to exhaust your life savings. It’s heartbreaking (and unnecessary) to see everything you worked for suddenly disappear.

So how do you pay for long-term care? For many people, the solution is Medicaid, which is a government program that can provide funding for long-term care. Many people are under the assumption that Medicaid is only for destitute people who have zero assets and no money at all. Although the program is theoretically meant to assist people with extremely limited resources, it is possible for people of average income to retain their houses, cars, and valuable person possessions and still qualify for Medicaid. By planning in advance you can ensure the best possibility of acceptance into the Medicaid program when or if you need it.

Because the rules are strict and the system is complex, it is best to consult an expert who specializes in Medicaid planning. There are attorneys, financial planners, insurance agents and volunteers who can assist you.

Medicaid planning becomes complicated when an individual’s monthly income or resources are near the financial eligibility limits, which vary from state to state. There are steps that can be taken (pooled income, trusts and transferring resources into non-countable assets). These transactions are complicated and require a level of legal and financial expertise that only an expert can provide.

In Albany, Burke and Casserly Law Firm has over twenty years of experience in Elder Law, a highly specialized area of practice which encompasses Asset Protection, Medicaid Planning, Long Term Card Planning and Guardianships, and Wills, Trusts and Estates.  They are “committed to providing quality legal services to our clients, while maintaining a dynamic and satisfying work environment, and encouraging the professional and personal growth of individuals in the firm.”  Specifically, they are familiar with the ever changing Medicaid laws and will work tirelessly to help with any Medicaid planning you need.  To learn more about Medicaid planning, contact an administrator at Burke & Casserly.

Many people don’t have a plan for long-term care because they simply don’t want to think about the possibility of becoming seriously ill or injured. Millions of people will require long-term care this year. Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones who never needs long term care. Is that a chance you are willing to take? Would you bet your whole life savings on it?

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