At M&A Law, we know most people put off estate planning for a number of reasons. Sometimes people simply do not want to face the reality that they will die or could, at some point, become disabled. Other times people find estate planning to be too complicated a process. Often, it just slips peoples’ minds until a close friend or beloved family member passes away.
Failing to get your legal affairs in order and make sure you and your loved ones are provided for can leave both you and your family incredibly vulnerable if and when the worst should happen. For as uncomfortable a process you may find estate planning, it is our experience that leaving your loved ones to struggle to figure out how to care for you or what should happen to your estate can be a nightmare.
Increasingly, one of the most important parts of estate planning is making sure that you consult with an experienced Illinois estate planning attorney about how to incorporate Medicaid planning into a new or existing estate plan. Medicaid is the government assistance program caring for millions of elderly, disabled, or otherwise vulnerable citizens across the country. Incorporating Medicaid into your estate plan not only can increase the variety of assets able to help care for you if you should need long-term care, it can also help you protect your assets.
To qualify for Medicaid, a person’s assets and income must be below a certain amount. Non-exempt assets cannot exceed a total value of $2,000, meaning that it is incredibly important that you consult an estate planning attorney experienced in Medicaid planning who can help you make sure your assets are properly transferred and thus “do not count” as far as Medicaid asset assessment purposes are considered. You should complete this process several years before you even need nursing home care to ensure that there is no way these assets can be counted, because Medicaid assessments involve a five-year “look back” period to determine asset transfers.
What happens if you or your family are in crisis mode and you did not have time to transfer your assets before the five-year look-back period? This is where a skilled estate planning attorney is absolutely needed. At M&A Law, we have experience reacting quickly in these situations and assisting you and your family in determining the quickest way to transfer assets and get onto Medicaid. We can also assess whether you have made any asset transfers recently that might expedite the review process. Having to move quickly is never ideal, but the right legal team can make all the difference.
Ultimately, the name of the game with Medicaid planning is asset protection. Your estate plan needs to provide you with financial security that meets your long-term care needs, and your health and ability to seek the help and care you need are paramount. At M&A Law, our attorneys have extensive experience helping people from all backgrounds create estate plans that ensure they are cared for and that their assets are protected. We have experience with Medicaid planning, whether it is in advance or in crisis mode, and will take the time to answer any questions that you may have. Contact M&A Law Firm, PC today to discuss your options.