Asset Protection Lawyer

Paying for long-term care can be a scary prospect, which is why so many people avoid thinking about it. However, with the right asset protection plan, you can be prepared to cover care costs for yourself or a loved one without losing your life savings in the process.

At Huizenga Law, we develop plans based on your unique goals. We often use a variety of strategies to establish eligibility for long-term care benefits through Medicaid or other programs. The sooner we start the process, the more options we have available. But even if you find yourself in a crisis situation, we can still create a plan to protect assets from unnecessary waste.

Long-Term Care Benefits from Medicaid

The good news is that Medicaid can pay for your costs for care in a nursing home or even in your own home. The bad news is that in order to qualify, you need to have very few assets and almost no income. And you can’t just give all your property to your children and expect to qualify. Medicaid looks at how you’ve handled your property for the previous five years. If you’ve given away assets or sold property below market value, the government still counts those assets against you when it comes to eligibility for Medicaid.

If you start planning at least five years before the time you expect to need long-term care, then you can move assets to a trust and take other steps to remove assets from the equation to establish Medicaid eligibility. Even past the five year mark, there are strategies you can follow to help qualify without spending all your savings on nursing home costs.

Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts

One tool we frequently recommend for clients seeking to establish eligibility for Medicaid is a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust or MAPT. Funds and other property you put into the trust no longer technically belong to you but to the trust. For that reason, they do not count against you toward the Medicaid asset limit.

This type of trust is different from the revocable living trust you might have set up to avoid probate. Because property in those types of trust is still under your control, it is still considered to belong to you. A MAPT, on the other hand, is an irrevocable trust. That means that once you put property in, you cannot take it back out. But that property is then also protected and can eventually be distributed to your beneficiaries. The state cannot later seek funds from that trust as reimbursement for care costs.

Neither you nor your spouse will be allowed to serve as trustee, and funds are not supposed to be used for your benefit. But you can designate an adult child or other relative to serve as trustee and manage property in the trust.

Some people use a Miller trust in conjunction with a MAPT to protect both assets and income, if their income is too high to meet eligibility rules.

Get the Right Asset Protection Plan for Your Situation

Your economic and family situation differs from everyone else. That means you need an asset protection plan that is custom tailored to your goals.

At Huizenga Law, we take the time to understand the complex factors that affect your needs, and then we review the available strategies to find the right combination for your situation. We want to help you find the best options to provide for your needs while conserving your assets. Contact us today to learn more about the protection we can provide.