Around retirement, many Missouri residents realize that they need to prepare for their long-term health and care. Aging can be an expensive process, as medical problems may surface and you consider entering a nursing home or other assisted living facility.

While nursing homes are a beneficial option for many people, they can also come with a steep price tag. Paying for these services can quickly drain an estate and the funds you would like to leave to your spouse or other loved ones. Is there a way to protect your assets while securing the care you need?

Medicaid may provide the financial assistance you require

Fortunately, Medicaid may be able to relieve some of your financial burden. Medicaid was designed to provide Americans with financial assistance for overwhelming medical-related expenses. This needs-based aid system qualifies potential candidates based on both financial and non-financial factors such as income, assets and their situation.

While you may not initially meet Medicaid’s qualifications, careful Medicaid planning with an experienced attorney may be able to secure you the financial assistance you require.

What does Medicaid planning involve?

The exact details of Medicaid planning vary based on your family’s situation and needs. Each plan is tailored to the individual, but may include a variety of estate planning tools that alter how you use and structure your assets, including:

  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Annuities
  • Gifting assets to a loved one
  • Investing in exempt assets

Why do you need to start planning now?

If you wait to think about Medicaid until you need it, it may be too late. Medicaid has many deadlines that can disqualify applicants who make asset changes too recently, such as an individual who places assets in a trust and then immediately applies for aid.

To prevent costly mistakes, an experienced estate planning attorney can be a valuable resource to guide you through the process and ensure that all deadlines are met and factors considered.

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