The following article will cover:
- Incorporating Medicaid planning into estate planning, considering factors such as health and age
- Key considerations in planning for later-life needs, including the usage of long-term care insurance and addressing the absence of coverage
- Preserving resources when a loved one is already in a nursing home or assisted living
When an individual or a couple begins their estate planning, is this also the best time to plan for later-life needs, including assisted living and Medicaid?
While estate planning is an ideal time to contemplate Medicaid planning, it largely depends on the individual’s health and age. For healthy individuals who haven’t yet entered their late sixties, Medicaid planning might be premature.
However, we usually provide a brief overview of the subject during planning sessions to ensure our clients have a basic understanding of the topic, enabling them to identify future scenarios that may necessitate in-depth Medicaid planning discussions and make informed decisions as they progress in life.
What are the most important things to address in planning for later-life needs, including assisted living, in North Carolina?
A pivotal consideration in elder planning is the usage of long-term care insurance, either as a standalone policy or within a life insurance plan. Our estate planning process typically begins by addressing this aspect. If a family member lacks long-term care coverage, either independently or via life insurance, and cannot obtain such policies, additional planning may be required, considering the individual’s health, resources, and age.
Is it too late to save resources if a loved one is already in a nursing home or assisted living?
No, it’s possible to conserve resources, depending on when the individual entered the facility. Early entrants or those who have exhausted their self-paying resources and are now applying for Medicaid still have options. For a home-bound spouse, several methods exist to protect the couple’s assets. For single individuals, the strategies differ from those for married couples where only one partner is in a facility.
How do I qualify for North Carolina Medicaid?
We assist families in qualifying for Medicaid through an initial asset review. By identifying the nature of the assets, their value, and the ownership details, we can devise strategies to aid the family in applying for Medicaid and securing approval, based on the review’s findings.
If I’m going to a nursing home, does my spouse have to lose everything too?
No, a spouse can retain various assets even if their partner enters a nursing home. North Carolina sets certain income and asset level limits for a spouse. Depending on their application status and the state of their assets, we may be able to reposition assets—for instance, converting an asset into an income stream, enabling them to retain all assets and maintain sufficient income for everyday expenses.
Are there ways to plan now to ensure I will qualify for North Carolina Medicaid when it is needed?
One proactive planning measure is to review asset titling. If it’s uncertain who might require nursing home care, distributing asset ownership evenly among family members can be advantageous over one spouse holding most of the assets.
When should I apply for North Carolina Medicaid?
When a physician determines that you can no longer live independently or your family arrives at this conclusion due to the increasing need for care, it may be time to apply for Medicaid. The application is detailed and necessitates numerous documents, so planning to gather these records is crucial during the application process.
What would you say sets your firm apart in guiding individuals through their estate planning process?
One key differentiator for our firm is our method of explaining documents to clients, simplifying complex legal jargon to ensure comprehension. We also offer reasonable pricing, prioritizing the importance of planning and ensuring that cost doesn’t become a barrier in the planning process.
For more information on planning for assisted living and Medicaid, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (704) 625-6170 today.