elderly man holding ball

Something many people work hard for is the idea of retirement. For many, working hard allows them to remain comfortable in their older years while passing the rest of their estate down upon their passing. Those in a nursing home or senior care facility may find their dream at risk. Unfortunately, the high nursing home costs can threaten your assets. However, taking the time to plan your estate with a Washtenaw County estate planning attorney can help shield your funds and property. Keep reading to learn more.

Are Nursing Home Costs a Threat to My Assets?

Generally, paying for long-term care is astronomically expensive. This is unfortunate, as many older adults may not have other options to receive the care and help they need in their later years. As such, you can pay for expensive long-term care insurance you may not need if you do not decide to live in a nursing home. You also cannot rely on Medicare, as this only covers expenses for a short period of time after you’ve received hospital inpatient care.

Many assume they can rely on Medicaid, but this is only available if your assets fall below a certain threshold. As such, you must pay down your assets until you qualify for Medicaid, at which point you will have used all your funds and investments, meaning you no longer have an estate to pass down.

How Can Estate Planning Help Protect My Assets?

If you do not have long-term care insurance, taking the time to plan your estate can help protect your assets from nursing home care costs.

One option many rely on is irrevocable trust. Because this takes assets out of your name and places them in a trust, they do not count as a part of your estate. As this is no longer a part of your estate, it reduces the overall value. As such, you may qualify for Medicaid to help cover the costs of your nursing home care while still ensuring you can leave assets and funds for your beneficiaries upon your passing.

Similarly, you can use a life estate transfer. This works like an irrevocable trust, as you can transfer the property out of your name and to another person while alive. However, you still have the right to reside in the property transferred until your passing. Upon your passing, the person you transferred the assets so will become the sole beneficiary of the property transferred to them.

It’s essential to note that Medicaid will look at your financial transactions up to five years prior to when you apply. As such, it’s in your best interest to be proactive when planning for the potential of long-term care in a nursing home.

At Collis, Griffor & Hendra, we understand that this can be very complex. As such, we will do everything possible to help you navigate your estate planning options to help you make the best decision for your needs. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.

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