Proper elder law Medi-Cal planning is having all assets held in a decedent’s revocable living trust to avoid both probate and Medi-Cal recovery. It is very important to plan for your loved ones by having a revocable living trust.
A past technique for elder law Medi-Cal planning was utilizing a Medi-Cal Asset Protection Trust to hold assets, typically a home and bank accounts separate from an individual’s personal assets. Doing this will help the person qualify for Medi-Cal long term care benefits. Having this irrevocable Medi-Cal Asset Protection Trust would prevent the State of California from Medi-Cal Estate Recovery.
One way of sheltering assets from Medi-Cal, for those who have died after January 1, 2017, was to make sure the assets were held in a living trust to be immune from recovery. There were some changes to estate recovery on January 1, 2017 due to legislation SB 833, which the changes are highlighted here.
Assets that would not typically require a probate and which will avoid Medi-Cal recovery, include the assets held in a revocable living trust and those assets held in joint tenancy. Creating a will alone will not help in protecting assets from Medi-Cal for either probate or Medi-Cal estate recovery.
If you are serious about protecting assets from Medi-Cal then create a revocable trust to eliminate claims against your assets by the state for Medi-Cal reimbursement. Also consult with Alice Salvo, a Woodland Hills elder law attorney, for proper guidance on elder law Medi-Cal planning. Qualifying for Medi-Cal long term care in a nursing home is complicated and an elder law Medi-Cal planning attorney can advise as to what is required and prepare of all related documents.
Liens are placed on living Medi-Cal beneficiaries’ estates to hold the property until the person dies. Beginning January 1, 1996, California does not impose liens against the homes of nursing home residents or their surviving spouses. There is an exception for cases where the home is not exempt such as when the nursing home Medi-Cal applicant did not indicate an intention to return home and the home will be sold. Currently these are the only liens which may be put on the homes of living beneficiaries.
Protecting assets from Medi-Cal Estate Recovery can be challenging and at times there is more than one strategy. We discuss each along with the benefits allowing you to make an informed decision.
Our experienced Woodland Hills, CA elder law attorney will carefully review your assets, income and estate planning documents and then develop a strategy for an effective Medi-Cal plan tailored to your specific situation. This can be quite the emotional undertaking and our strategy is to make the process as easy and comfortable as possible. Get started with a call to us at 818-676-9572 or use our contact form to schedule a consultation.