Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law
Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo  Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo
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Phone: 818-676-9572

How can you protect your estate from nursing home costs?

When working through your estate planning in Woodland Hills, it is easy to base your decisions off of your current situation. Right now, you may not even be considering the prospect of having to pay for added services as you age. Yet you may soon discover that it often costs money to get older, particularly if you have to spend an extended period of your golden years in a nursing home. Without the right planning, you may find that many of the assets you hoped to leave to your beneficiaries will be depleted to pay for your care. 

However, there are ways to still enjoy nursing home benefits while shielding your personal assets from having to pay for it. By divesting yourself of a certain amount of assets and property, you could qualify for state benefits through the Medi-Cal program. According to the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, the resource limits to qualify for Medi-Cal are: 

  • $2,000 in cash reserves
  • $1,500 in whole life insurance
  • $1,500 in a prepaid irrevocable burial plan
  • $100 in jewelry and other valuable items

Common types of property like your home, your car and term life insurance benefits are totally exempt. 

To successfully divest yourself of such assets in order to qualify for Medi-Cal, you must place them in an irrevocable living trust (with a revocable trust, you still technically retain ownership of them). Keep in mind, however, that Medicaid programs review your financial status for five years when determining your eligibility. Thus, you need to wait at least that amount of time before transferring your assets into a trust. 

If you would like more information on avoiding nursing home costs, a free seminar will be given on November 4 at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village from 10:00am-3:00pm. Registration details can be found here on our site.  

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