Rice and Rice

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Estate Planning for Medicaid: What You Need to Know

Long-term care Medicaid applicants must meet Medicaid’s asset limit before they can get approved for eligibility. For many, the thought of dwindling down their assets is terrifying – and is actually unnecessary. You can legally protect your assets for family and loved ones through effective estate planning. In other words, you can still keep most of your estate and collect Medicaid benefits as you age. However, you need an experienced Medicaid estate planning attorney on your side to make sure you plan accordingly.

What is an Asset Spend-Down?

If you have excess assets, you must “spend down” those assets to meet Medicaid’s asset limit. Spending down is one way many applicants get below the Medicaid asset threshold. However, spending down does not protect assets for family and loved ones.

There is a Better Way

Fortunately, Medicaid estate planning in advance allows applicants to turn otherwise countable assets into exempt assets. This preserves them for family and helps gain Medicaid eligibility that would have otherwise been denied. Through careful planning, you can avoid Medicaid’s look-back rule and also protect your home from Medicaid’s estate recovery program.

Some of the estate planning methods you may utilize to protect your assets include, but are not limited to:

  • Pre-Paid Funeral Plan
  • Paying Off Debt (mortgage, credit cards, etc.)
  • Add to Tangible Personal Property
  • Personal Services Contract – ongoing or lump sum in advance (“life care”)
  • And more

Medicaid Estate Planning is Easy With Legal Help

An experienced Medicaid planning lawyer can help you through the process of estate planning with Medicaid in mind. You and your attorney will set up your estate in a manner that safeguards your assets for specific beneficiaries. This protects the estate and enables you to meet Medicaid’s eligibility limits.

Not all estate planning strategies are appropriate when also planning for Medicaid. That is why it is important to contact an attorney with experience in both estate planning and Medicaid planning.

Effective Medicaid estate planning involves implementing strategies to get your income and assets under the limits defined by Medicaid. This takes creativity and exceptional knowledge of Indiana’s Medicaid eligibility criteria.

It is important to speak to an experienced attorney well before the need for Medicaid long-term care. Do not delay. Some of the estate planning strategies only work if implemented years before you need access to Medicaid. Together with your attorney, you can make a plan that will protect your assets and help you safeguard an inheritance for your loved ones.

Contact Our Indiana Medicaid Planning Attorneys

If you have questions about Medicaid and estate planning, it is important to speak to one of our Medicaid planning lawyers right away. At Rice & Rice, we know what it takes to safeguard your estate while still protecting your rights to collect Medicaid, and we can help.

Call us today for an appointment to learn how to plan your estate and handle Medicaid eligibility. We can help you and your loved ones plan for the future and navigate the Medicaid process. Our attorneys are here to help. Call us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation at (219) 255-5285.

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