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Using estate planning to preserve Medicaid eligibility and legacy

As you approach your retirement years, it is vital for you to review your estate plans more often. Though you may be more concerned about where your possessions will go after you die, you must not overlook concerns that may arise while you are still living. Many Ohio area seniors find themselves struggling to pay for their end of life expenses because they did not include contingencies to protect their assets from Medicaid.

Not all assets are Medicaid-proof. Retirement accounts, investment accounts, certain real estate holdings and other nonexempt assets must cover care expenses first before Medicaid becomes a viable resource for seniors to use. You may have a great deal of wealth now or not have much to your name, but if you do not want to end up using your loved ones' inheritances to pay for your medical care needs, you must structure your estate plans so that they enable you to keep your eligibility for Medicaid without sacrificing your loved ones' inheritances.

Use a personal caregiver to protect the legacy

Medical expenses continue to rise at an alarming rate, making it challenging for many seniors and younger adults to plan for unexpected medical needs. Choosing a family member as a private caregiver allows you to control some of your end-of-life care expenses. Instead of using your assets to pay someone that you do not know, you can incorporate a caregiver agreement into your estate plans and detail services that they are to perform. You should discuss your decision with your loved ones, and if payment is necessary, include that information specifically in your estate plans.

Trusts to preserve assets and Medicaid eligibility

If you are not comfortable with the idea of a family member caring for you, establish a trust. When structured appropriately, trusts enable you to maintain control over your assets and cover your expenses and needs instead of having to use other financial resources that could prove burdensome to you or your loved ones.

Estate planning makes it possible for anyone to protect her or his assets and remain in control of her or his standard of living and medical care without having to drain resources. It also eliminates the issues that can arise when long-term care becomes necessar sooner rather than later.

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