How do I protect my assets from the nursing home?

One of the biggest concerns clients have when they come into our office for estate, elder care, or Medicaid planning is that they will end up spending all their assets on skilled nursing care and have nothing left to leave to their children.

This is a valid concern for many people, and one of the tools that is most often utilized to protect this from occurring is an irrevocable asset protection trust. Here is a very simplified, nut-shell version for how it works.

The Trust is drafted and executed. Assets are transferred to the trust. So long as the transferor does not need to apply for Medicaid within 5 years from the date of transfer, the assets transferred to the Trust will be "protected" from being counted as a resource available when determining the eligibility of the transferor for Medicaid. (Note: there are many pitfalls that need to be taken into account when drafting the trust and structuring the transfer. This strategy should not be implemented by anyone other than a qualified elder law attorney).

Remember, the 5 year "lookback" applies from the date of the transfer and ends on the date of the application. Thus, while an irrevocable asset protection trust may or may not be appropriate for you, it is really important to speak with an elder law attorney about this strategy sooner than later so that you can receive proper advice before it is potentially too late.

If you have questions about Medicaid or asset protection trusts, feel free to contact our Firm at 203-651-5521, or visit our website to learn more about our Firm by clicking here.