There's no denying that the cost of long-term care continues to rise, and seniors in Oklahoma need to be aware of their options for covering the cost of nursing home care, assisted living and in-home medical care.
Even if you have saved a significant nest egg for your retirement, the cost of long-term care could quickly drain your estate. If your goals include preserving your assets, providing for future generations and ensuring comfort for yourself in later years, you may want to consider your Medicaid planning options.
What does Medicaid planning involve?
Along with other estate planning solutions such as insurance, VA pension benefits, Social Security benefits and trusts, Medicaid benefits can be used to defray the cost of elder care, as Medicaid provides access to care facilities that would otherwise be unaffordable.
However, you may not be eligible for Medicaid if your income or assets put you above the established income limit for these benefits. To ensure that you qualify for Medicaid, there are some strategies to employ. These may include:
- Establishing an irrevocable trust
- Establishing a gifting schedule
- Concentrating your wealth into exempt assets
- Investing in an annuity for your spouse or other family members
The key is to create a plan now.
Don't wait to start planning for long-term care. The sooner you speak with an estate planning lawyer, the better you can protect your interests and those of your family.
Preferably, you will have the advice and guidance of an attorney with extensive experience in estate planning and tax law, which are both relevant to Medicaid planning. An estate planning attorney can explain your options for maintaining Medicaid eligibility without your having to spend down all of your assets or greatly deviate from your existing plans for long-term care.
For more on these matters, please see our overview of Medicaid planning and why it is so important.