• K. Kelso Law

Protecting Assets From Nursing Home Costs

Updated: May 31



Let’s face it; it may be tough to think about your or your parent’s future and the likelihood of needing a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home, one day. Even though forty percent of Americans need long-term care by the age of 65, the costs of nursing homes continue to rise. A few years in a nursing home could easily wipe out a lifetime of savings for the average person.


Long-term care facilities can suck the life out of your assets and leave you and your family destitute. Medicaid assistance is available for those who can’t afford to pay out of pocket, but you must plan for your future to protect your assets from nursing home costs.


How to Protect Your Assets From Nursing Homes

As you prepare for your future, it’s crucial to create an asset protection plan that works for you and your family. If you, your spouse, or your parents choose to receive help from Medicaid, it’s essential to consider the five-year “look-back” period for asset transfers. There are a few ways to get around this “look-back” period and ensure you are eligible for Medicaid and other options to protect your assets from nursing home costs.


1. Long-term care insurance.

Long-term care insurance covers nursing homes, assisted living, adult daycares, and at-home health care for those with chronic conditions that make it difficult to perform daily activities and need extra assistance.


2. Put assets in an irrevocable trust.

An irrevocable trust is a kind of trust that holds your assets and designates beneficiaries. However, this legal entity does not allow you to make changes or cancel the trust.


3. Consider purchasing a Medicaid-compliant annuity.

A Medicaid-compliant annuity is needed when a spouse is not institutionalized or in a nursing home. This helps reduce the income Medicaid considers when determining your eligibility for assistance.


4. Create a life estate plan.

It’s critical to get ahead of Medicaid’s five-year look-back period by creating a life estate plan with an estate planning attorney you can trust. This life estate plan allows the homeowner to keep the house until they die and pass their property to their chosen person.

5. Save your statements and receipts.

To avoid Medicaid’s look-back period, ensure all your bases are covered by saving your statements and receipts for significant expenses and financial gifts.


How to Protect Parent’s Assets From Nursing Home

As your parents get older, it can be daunting to think about the costs of a nursing home or assisted living facility and determine how to protect their assets. If your parents don’t have a solid asset protection plan, they could face spending their life savings on a nursing home.


It’s critical to get ahead of Medicaid’s five-year “look-back” policy and protect you or your parent’s assets from the high prices of nursing homes and spendy assisted-living costs. Reach out to a trusted attorney to help you and your family develop a strong asset protection plan.


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