Medicaid Planning

Your Lifecare Planning Law Firm

Need help planning for long-term care? Book a call to learn about our Medicaid planning services today.

As you age, you may wonder how you’ll pay for long-term care if the need arises. Even if you’re fairly healthy now, one accident or illness could make it nearly impossible to care for yourself.

Book a Discovery Call

Long-term care is very expensive. If you can’t afford it, you may qualify for Medicaid, which could cover your care costs.

Your income and assets can’t exceed a certain amount to qualify for Medicaid. That doesn’t mean you must give away all your assets, though. A Medicaid planning lawyer can tell you how to qualify for Medicaid while retaining as much of your wealth as possible.

Long-term Care Planning

Unlike temporary nursing and end-of-life care, long-term care can last for years. Long-term care can bring relief when you need help with your daily activities, but that care comes at a premium. Assisted living facilities can cost thousands per month, and nursing homes are even more expensive. If you live in North Dakota, for example, you could pay nearly $12,000 per month for a shared nursing home room. Want a private room all to yourself? Expect to shell out even more.

When you start planning for long-term care, you have much to consider. The choices you make now will affect how much you can pay later, so it’s smart to make a solid long-term care plan with the help of an attorney.

When planning for your future, consider whether any of your family members could help when you need it. If your loved one can safely care for you at home for several years, you could save a lot of money.

You’ll also need to think about where you want to live. Moving to a more affordable state, such as Nebraska or Iowa, can cut your long-term care costs by a large sum.

Think about what expenses you could cut to help you pay for long-term care. For instance, you may decide to travel every few years instead of annually.

Regardless of where you live or what expenses you cut, though, you may be unable to afford care without a bit of help. That’s where Medicaid planning comes in.

Be Prepared For Later And Get Started Now
Book a Discovery Call

Medicaid Planning

The Medicaid program pays for nursing home care if you qualify. It doesn’t cover the cost of assisted living, however.

Medicaid will only pay for your care if you meet income and asset requirements. Income and asset limits for 2023 are as follows:

  • Nebraska: Up to $1,215/month in income and up to $4,000 in assets
  • Iowa: Up to $2,742/month in income and up to $2,000 in assets
  • North Dakota: No set limit on income, up to $3,000 in assets

If your income and assets are too high to qualify, it’s possible to spend down your money with Medicaid planning. For example, you could qualify for the Medically Needy Pathway if you have high medical expenses.

With this strategy, you spend down your assets by using them to pay for medical expenses over a certain period. Once you’ve met the spend-down amount for that period, you’ll qualify for Medicaid.

Another strategy involves putting excess assets into an irrevocable funeral trust. Funds in this trust won’t count as assets for Medicaid applicant eligibility purposes.

Crisis Planning

Many people don’t think about Medicaid eligibility until they suddenly need long-term care. If you’re one of them, you might worry that you’ll have to give away all your assets to qualify.

An attorney from Legacy Design Strategies can help you hold on to as many of your assets as possible. One Medicaid crisis planning tool we can use is the “gift and loan” strategy. It works like this:

  1. You gift a certain amount to a lower-risk entity you control, such as a discretionary trust.
  2. That entity gives money back to you in the form of a loan.
  3. The entity takes security over your asset.

This strategy transfers ownership of the asset to the other entity, so Medicaid can’t count it against you for eligibility purposes.

Another option is to buy a Medicaid-compliant annuity. Using this strategy, you can convert countable assets into an income stream, which can help you qualify for Medicaid more quickly, giving you peace of mind that your care will remain uninterrupted.

Guardianship

Have you ever considered who would care for you if you couldn’t care for yourself? If you become incapacitated, a guardian can make certain choices for you. This person has the authority to manage your finances, decide where you’ll live, and hire a caretaker if necessary.

A family member, such as a healthy spouse, may apply for guardianship if they think you’re unable to take care of yourself. If no one steps up to serve as guardian, the court will appoint a public guardian for you.

The process of applying for guardianship follows these steps:

  1. The potential guardian makes a petition to the court, typically the probate court, for appointment of guardianship.
  2. The court sends a notice to tell you about the petition for guardianship.
  3. The court holds a hearing to determine whether you need a guardian. A judge will consider your mental state and decision-making ability. If you don’t think you need a guardian, you can present your reasoning during the hearing.
  4. If the court agrees you need a guardian, it will determine whether the petitioner can suitably fill the role.

If you’d like to choose who will take care of you, you can name your own guardian. However, keep in mind that said guardian will have a high degree of control over your life, so choose them carefully.

Let Legacy Design Strategies Help You Plan for Your Future

Planning for your future can seem overwhelming, but don’t put it off until it’s too late. Our attorneys can advise you on guardianship, long-term care, and strategies you can use to qualify for Medicaid.

To learn more about our Medicaid planning services at Legacy Design Strategies, schedule a no-cost, no-obligation call with our team today.

Meeting with a client

Get Started Today

Contact Legacy Design Strategies for Your Estate Planning Needs

If you’re ready to make your estate plan, Legacy Design Strategies is here to help. We specialize in estate planning and have years of experience serving clients in Iowa, North Dakota, and Nebraska. If you’d like to make a will or need help choosing a trust, just give us a call.

Book a Discovery Call

Office Locations

Omaha, NE Office

9859 South 168th Avenue,
Omaha, NE 68136

Directions

Minot, ND Office

7 Third Street SE, Suite 202,
Minot, ND 58701

Directions

Iowa Falls, IA Office

320 North Oak Street, PO Box 295,
Iowa Falls, IA 50126

Directions

Some Of The Areas We Serve

LDStrategies
Omaha, NE Office

9859 South 168th Avenue,
Omaha, NE 68136

Minot, ND Office

7 Third Street SE, Suite 202,
Minot, ND 58701

Iowa Falls, IA Office

320 North Oak Street, PO Box 295,
Iowa Falls, IA 50126

IMS - Estate Planning and Elder Law Practice Growth Advisors
Powered by
cross