It’s important to have an estate plan in all phases of our lives, but as we age, planning for the future becomes a necessity. Finding ways to protect your assets and prepare for the possibility of long-term care will ensure that you and your family will be taken care of. There are several ways to use estate planning tools to maintain your quality of life and have enough to leave behind for your beneficiaries.
Elder Law and Estate Planning
Elder law encompasses a wide range of legal matters that address the needs of seniors and their families. It’s a holistic approach to estate planning that includes strategies for long-term care, guardianship, healthcare directives, powers of attorney, and protection from potential exploitation. The goal is to protect the rights and best interests of the elderly and preserve everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve.
The True Cost of Long-Term Care
One of the most common concerns for many people is the potential cost of long-term care. The rising costs of goods and services can bring anxiety to even the most organized planners. It’s not always possible to tell exactly how much long-term care in a nursing home or assisted living facility will cost 10-20 years from now. It’s always advisable to plan well in advance to give your estate enough time to adjust to developments in your life.
Medicaid planning is a great way for individuals to qualify for necessary benefits to cover the financial burden of long-term care while preserving their assets. Medicaid is a government program that provides eligible low-income individuals with essential healthcare coverage. However, the eligibility requirements have strict limits on income and assets, which makes it challenging for those with substantial estates to qualify.
Even if you have grown a nest egg that could provide the funds for long-term care, there are no guarantees that it will sustain through unexpected circumstances. For example, expensive medical procedures or the rising cost of living could cause the funds to deplete prematurely. No one wants to wait for a crisis in order to qualify for Medicaid. Thankfully, with appropriate planning, there are methods of preserving your assets and fulfilling Medicaid requirements.
Working with an experienced elder law and estate planning attorney will open the doors to protecting your best interests. If you have concerns that your assets will not cover the cost of long-term care, your attorney can assess your unique circumstances and develop a personalized estate plan that addresses those needs.
Your attorneys can help guide you through Medicaid eligibility requirements and develop practical strategies that enable you to qualify for benefits without exhausting your remaining funds. Offsetting the costs of long-term care may require setting up a trust to shield your assets from consideration during eligibility review. Qualifying for Medicaid will cover the costs of your long-term care and enable you to leave your hard-earned assets to the next generation.
Start Planning Today
If you haven’t started developing your estate plan, there’s no better time to start than now. No matter the size of your estate or your assets, you have things worth protecting. Planning early and amending as necessary can safeguard your rights and help you retain control even if you’re no longer able to live alone. At the Kentucky Estate Planning Law Center, our legal professionals are passionate about giving you peace of mind by protecting what matters most. Call (270) 982-2883 to schedule a free initial consultation and get your plan started.