Protecting Your Assets and Securing Your Future
As individuals age, they may require long-term care and assistance with daily living activities. This care can be costly, and many individuals turn to Medicaid, a government-funded program, to help cover the costs. However, applying for Medicaid can be a complex process, and it’s important to have an experienced attorney to guide you through the process and help you protect your assets.
At The Preston Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience in Medicaid planning and are dedicated to providing our clients with the personalized attention and support they need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you with your Medicaid planning.
Common Medicaid Planning Strategies
Medicaid planning is the process of protecting your assets while still meeting the eligibility requirements for Medicaid. In Florida, Medicaid has strict asset limits, and individuals must spend down their assets to a certain level before they can qualify for benefits. Medicaid planning can help individuals preserve their assets for their loved ones while still meeting the eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Here are some of the Medicaid planning strategies that we commonly use:
We may recommend creating an irrevocable trust to protect assets while still meeting the eligibility requirements for Medicaid.
We may recommend making assets income producing. This involves converting non-income producing assets, such as real estate or stocks, into income-producing assets, such as rental properties or dividend-paying stocks.
We may recommend a personal services contract. This is an agreement whereby the potential Medicaid application pays a family member or third party for certain services - thereby reducing the assets countable by Medicaid for eligibility. It's important to note that the contract must be in writing, signed and executed before the Medicaid application is submitted.
We may recommend purchasing assets that are not counted as part of the Medicaid eligibility process, such as a Medicaid compliant annuity.
We may recommend giving away assets to loved ones to reduce the countable assets. Be careful doing this without guidance! There is a five-year look back period, and giving away assets within five years before applying for Medicaid may result in a penalty period.
We may recommend a spousal waiver, also known as "just say no." In this strategy, we have the community spouse receive ALL the assets and execute a document stating they will not pay for the Long-Term Care services. Because Florida is a separate property state and spouses have no obligation to pay for each other's medical care, this effectively protects ALL the assets. It's important to note that the waiver should be in writing and executed before the Medicaid application is submitted.