It’s no secret that assisted living and nursing home care costs can leave a hefty hole in the pocketbook. While high on average, these costs can balloon to swallow up all remaining assets before you are able to pass them on to loved ones, especially when using federal programs to fund the bulk of care. With this in mind, the experienced and professional estate planning attorney Douglas Lauenstein discusses the steps you can take to protect your assets from nursing home care costs.
Start Giving More Monetary Gifts
When you divide your assets among designated beneficiaries in advance, you can ensure that your assets are distributed exactly how you please. While any assets transferred within five years prior to entering a care facility are subject to seizure under Medicaid-related laws, transferring assets before you are sick can protect your assets from creditors seeking to collect after your death.
Draft a Life Estate With an Attorney
A life estate is a type of property ownership where two or more people have ownership rights. By drafting a life estate and naming yourself as a life tenant and your designated beneficiary as the remainderman, you can retain the right to live in your home until death while ensuring that after your death your property is transferred to your designated remainderman. The life estate process also prevents the state from making a claim against your property. An estate planning attorney can draft these documents correctly to make sure they are properly executed.
Purchase Long Term Care Insurance
While costly, purchasing long term care insurance can be one way to cover nursing homes, assisted living, adult day care and home health without having to dig into your financial assets. While this insurance can be helpful when and if it is needed it has no cash value and therefore may not be a benefit if you are able to age in place.
Place Liquid Assets Into an Annuity
By allocating a lump sum of money to an annuity, you can ensure that your beneficiary receives the money back in equal monthly payments and protect these liquid assets if you are receiving medical assistance subsidized by Medicaid.
Transfer Some of Your Income to Your Spouse
One way to reduce your assets is to transfer some of your income to your spouse. While realistically this income is still accessible to you day-to-day, it cannot be sought out by the state after your death.
Use an Irrevocable Trust to Shelter Some of Your Assets
An irrevocable trust holds your assets and becomes a temporary owner of those assets until they are released to your designated beneficiary after death. and designates beneficiaries of those assets.
Contact Douglas Lauenstein Today For Your Estate Planning Needs
Estate planning may be a difficult process to go through. We’ll work with you to provide a second set of eyes and ears and create a complete estate plan that’s tailored to your specific circumstances. Douglas C. Lauenstein, an estate planning attorney in Baltimore County with decades of expertise, is here to guide you and your loved ones through this process. Contact us today to learn more about our services and the estate planning process.