Nursing Home Care
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Young families and seniors alike worry about what will happen if they are unable to care for themselves in the future. In Massachusetts, the average cost of nursing home care is roughly $125,000 a year. That means long-term care costs for you and your family can quickly add up.
Planning for future care is your best option to secure your family’s financial future and ensure that your health is protected. With smart asset management and trust planning, you can take advantage of Medicaid, regulatory exemptions and allowances designed to help seniors pay for care long into their later years.
Our law offices help families like yours obtain peace of mind through smart trust and estate planning. We make sure that you can take advantage of assistance programs and exemptions while protecting your assets and ensuring your family’s stability and security through the years.
We want you to be able to make educated choices about your future. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions about nursing home care planning and how a nursing home care lawyer can help you plan for your later years.
Does Medicare Pay for Nursing Home Costs?
Many clients wonder if they can pay for nursing home costs using Medicare. The answer is yes, but only for short-term rehabilitation. After that, residents must pay for nursing home care out of their own pockets. Medicare also does not pay for custodial care, except in certain situations. Custodial care includes helping residents with daily tasks, such as eating, bathing and so forth, which most elderly people in nursing homes need.
Medicare only covers custodial care for medically necessary nursing home stays or, in certain cases, home-based care for a pre-determined number of hours per week.
Medicaid, however, does pay for long-term care in nursing homes, but only for qualifying seniors. In Massachusetts, Medicaid is administered through MassHealth, a state medical assistance program. However, an individual can only qualify for MassHealth if they have no more than $2,000 worth of countable assets.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce and reallocate your income and assets so that you are able to qualify for MassHealth without compromising your financial welfare or health. Our law office specializes in creating personalized plans that will allow you to pay for nursing home costs long into the future.
Does a Trust Protect You from Nursing Home Costs in Massachusetts?
Trusts are one popular tool used to qualify for Medicaid. Specifically, individuals looking to defray nursing home costs will often create an irrevocable trust, which releases control of the assets in the trust to the beneficiaries — often children or grandchildren.
Under an irrevocable trust, the grantor is not allowed to make changes to the terms of the trust without the permission of the beneficiary or beneficiaries. In essence, it allows you to gift the assets of the trust to your family while retaining income from those assets. It also allows you to take advantage of estate tax exemptions so there is less strain on your finances.
Creating a trust like this can be very complicated, particularly if you are using it as a way to qualify for MassHealth benefits. Additionally, there is a five-year look-back period for gifting of assets, so you could be denied Medicaid benefits unless you plan appropriately. That’s why many individuals turn to an experienced trust planning lawyer to help them create a trust that works best for their situation.
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How to Protect Assets from Nursing Home Costs in Massachusetts
One major area our law offices can help with is spending down, retitling and reallocating assets so that your countable income puts you under the qualifying threshold for MassHealth. We’ll help you create strategies to pay for nursing home care while ensuring that your assets and legacy are protected. Our specific services include:
- Helping you understand how to protect your estate from nursing home costs
- Advising you on an efficient spend-down of assets
- Helping you annuitize assets
- Creating pooled trusts
- Retitling and recategorizing assets
- Providing advice on how to recategorize retirement accounts
- Helping you take advantage of exemptions in regulations that allow you to pay for nursing home care with Medicaid
- Lowering the financial burden of nursing home care
Trust Us to Help You with Nursing Home Care Planning
Families come first at The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen. That’s why we offer holistic support and advice designed to protect your very most important asset: your family’s future. Our chief goal is for clients to leave our offices feeling secure that they’ll be able to access the care they may need without burdening spouses, children and grandchildren with the cost.
We invite our neighbors in the greater Andover area to contact us today to schedule an individual consultation.. We’ll discuss your needs and priorities, and look at options and strategies available to you to protect your family’s welfare long into the future.