Walnut Creek Long-Term Care Planning Attorney
There may come a time when you or a family member needs long-term care outside of the home, whether in a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility. Sadly, the costs of long-term care are so expensive they are beyond the ability of most Americans to afford. In California, a private room in a nursing home costs over $9,000 per month or $112,000 per year. A semi-private room is cheaper but still costs more than $91,000 per year. Assisted living, without skilled nursing care, costs more than $40,000 annually.
Fortunately, there are ways to be able to afford long-term care for yourself or your spouse without going broke in the process and having nothing to show for a lifetime of hard work and saving. An experienced Walnut Creek long-term care estate planning attorney at the Feldman Law Group can implement proven, effective strategies that protect your assets from depletion while still accessing quality long-term care when needed.
Medi-Cal Asset Protection Trusts can Help You Afford Long-Term Care
Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) helps pay for long-term care in a nursing home, but Medi-Cal is only available to people with a low, poverty-level income of little more than $1,000 a month. For some, their only option is to spend-down their savings on long-term care until they qualify for Medi-Cal, but by then nothing is left over for a spouse or to leave to heirs. Before that happens, the Feldman Law Group can transfer a portion of your assets to a Medi-Cal trust. This asset protection trust is an irrevocable trust that takes assets out of your hands; you cannot access trust funds to pay for medical care, and the value of trust assets are not counted as part of your income when determining Medi-Cal eligibility. You’ll qualify for Medi-Cal (and long-term care coverage) sooner, without having to drain your savings.
The Feldman Law Group can fashion a Medi-Cal trust that meets your needs, such as creating an income-only trust that pays you a monthly income while keeping you under the threshold for Medi-Cal eligibility, or giving you the ability to change the names of successor beneficiaries. It’s important to create a Medi-Cal asset protection trust before you need it. Medi-Cal imposes a five-year look-back period in judging eligibility, so a recently created trust could delay your ability to access Medi-Cal and get help with long-term care when you need it.
Other Long-Term Care Planning Strategies may be Available
At the Feldman Law Group, we’re able to explore other options for long-term care planning in addition to irrevocable trusts. For instance, long-term care insurance is an option for some, while others find it too expensive, can’t qualify or are worried their claim may be denied. A testamentary trust for a surviving spouse may be a viable option, as well as a special needs trust for a disabled child or other dependents. We’ll also advise you on other strategies, such as purchasing immediate annuities or spending down on future expenses you know you’ll need but have been putting off, such as covering funeral costs and home repairs which will enhance the value of your estate rather than putting a drain on your estate after you are gone.
Talk to an Experienced Walnut Creek Long-Term Care Planning Attorney
Sooner rather than later, it’s important to sit down with an estate planning attorney and discuss how you’ll address the possibility of long-term care for you or your spouse. The Feldman Law Group in Walnut Creek will work with you personally to explore your options and implement the strategy that best meets your needs. In Contra Costa County, contact the Feldman Law Group at 925-283-6691 to talk about your needs with an experienced and dedicated long-term care planning attorney.