When it comes to making plans for yourself or for a family member’s long-term care, remembering to account for Medicaid benefits is key. The program is a bit confusing, and you might not be able to take advantage of it if you do not think ahead and work with a legal representative.
Since Medicaid implements something known as means-testing to limit who can acquire benefits, it is important that you plan for your eligibility long before you expect to use the program. A seasoned estate planning attorney could explain the system’s qualifications and make sure you are entitled when the time comes. Proceeding without an advocate might be challenging, but a Mount Laurel Medicaid planning lawyer could be the ally you need.
Why is Medicaid Planning Necessary?
Medicaid refers to a government program that aims to provide health coverage to many different individuals, including low-income families, people with disabilities, and senior citizens.
Planning ahead when considering this program is necessary because of the income and asset limits that apply to these benefits. In order to qualify for long-term care through Medicaid, an applicant must comply with a means test and earn less than a certain amount of money. For many people contemplating long-term care, meeting the income threshold is not an issue. However, a lifetime of acquiring valuable assets could easily render that person ineligible for the program.
If someone wants to implement Medicaid benefits but they will likely earn over the established limit, a resourceful attorney in Mount Laurel could help them plan by transferring assets to different location or dealing with them in a way that renders them exempt from means-testing.
What is a Medicaid Spenddown?
Some people facing the prospect of not qualifying for Medicaid choose to start spending their money, to get below the program’s threshold. This often involves giving gifts to family members, loved ones, or friends. Shedding money or relocating assets in this way is known as a Medicaid spenddown.
Depending on an individual’s circumstances, deciding to spend down valuable assets might not be the best Medicaid planning option. For example, some people, might find it difficult to relinquish finances or property that they have spent their whole lives working towards.
However, as a knowledgeable lawyer in Mount Laurel could explain, there are many alternatives to implementing a Medicaid spenddown. A legal representative could outline a few different planning options, to help a family save their assets for future needs or the next generation.
Medicaid Planning Methods
There are several tools that an individual could use during the Medicaid planning process. Common strategies used to preserve someone’s entitlement to this government program include but are not limited to:
- Gifting items to loved ones or family members
- Purchasing annuities intended for another person
- Placing money in a qualified income trust
- Creating an irrevocable funeral trust
- Transferring assets to spouses
Any of these options could help someone stay within the income limit and plan for implementing Medicaid. A diligent attorney in Mount Laurel could investigate a family or person’s situation to figure out the best planning tool for their unique assets.
Contact a Mount Laurel Medicaid Planning Attorney Right Away
Planning to take advantage of Medicaid benefits could be a lengthy and confusing process, depending on how much money you earn and the nature of your estate. Generally speaking, the sooner you get started, the better. Attempting to spenddown assets or implement another strategy without legal representation could be a challenge. Therefore, do not hesitate to call a Mount Laurel Medicaid planning lawyer today.