A loved one moving into a nursing home often comes with a whirlwind of emotions and logistical challenges. Amidst ensuring they receive the best possible care, there exists a looming concern regarding asset protection. Why is this significant, you may ask? Well, the high costs of long-term care have the potential to rapidly deplete a family’s hard-earned savings, leaving the spouse still living at home in a precarious financial situation.
This is where asset protection comes into play –planning ahead, being proactive, and placing safeguards that preserve your wealth and secure your financial future— all while ensuring your spouse receives the care they need. At Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C., we stand beside you in this journey, providing the support and guidance you need to take on this complex process.
The Importance of Early Estate Planning in Massachusetts
It is essential to think about the unexpected situations that life might throw your way. Having a comprehensive estate plan in place well before the need for assisted living care arises is key to protecting your assets. For instance, if a spouse requires long-term care, and the cost of this care for your loved one could deplete your life savings if you do not have proper plans in place. The experienced team at Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C. can help you construct an estate plan that ensures your spouse’s needs are met, while also preserving your family’s wealth.
Medicaid Planning: Asset Protection in Nursing Home Scenarios
Medicaid, a federal and state program, can assist in covering nursing home expenses. However, to qualify for Medicaid, the applicants must meet specific income and asset limits. These income requirements can put many at risk of spending their life savings before they become eligible. A popular strategy used to protect assets and abide these requirements is through Medicaid planning, and this typically involves restructuring your assets in a way that they do not count towards Medicaid’s limit. Our team at Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C. is well-versed to aid you through this complex process.
The Role of Spousal Refusal in Asset Protection in Massachusetts
In certain circumstances, a strategy known as “spousal refusal” can protect a couple’s assets when one spouse needs long-term care. The community spouse, that is, the spouse not in the nursing home, does not allow for the the use of their assets as payment for the institutionalized spouse’s care, which makes it possible for the community spouse to retain their wealth while the institutionalized spouse applies for Medicaid. However, this strategy may not be appropriate in all cases and legal advice is highly recommended.
Creating an Irrevocable Trust for Asset Protection
An irrevocable trust is another effective tool that can protect your assets. By placing assets into an irrevocable trust, those assets are no longer owned by you, and thus, are not counted towards Medicaid’s asset limit. However, Medicaid has a five-year look-back period for asset transfers. Therefore, this strategy should be implemented well before long-term care is needed. The attorneys at Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C. can provide guidance on whether this is the right strategy for you.
Involving a Professional in the Asset Protection Process
Safeguarding your assets when a spouse enters a nursing home requires careful planning and a deep understanding of the laws in Massachusetts. This is where the professionals at Casey Lundregan Burns, P.C. come into play. Our team has decades of experience and can provide you with the right strategies to protect your assets while ensuring your spouse gets the care they need. To learn more, talk to us today. We can help you every step of the way, so please get in touch to schedule your case evaluation online or contact us at (978) 878-3519.