Nursing Home planning is what sets an Elder Law Attorney apart from a regular Estate Planner. This branch of Elder Law is planning for the single item that could most affect the size of a middle class estate: long-term nursing care. With costs for long-term care ranging from $4,000 per month for Assisted Living to as much as $13,000 per month for full care, these costs can have a catastrophic impact on the size of your estate. A Nursing Home Plan can take many forms, but the key idea to remember is that you MUST plan in advance.
How do I pay for a Nursing Home?
Most individuals start out as private pay in a Nursing Home. Medicare will not pay for long-term care, and coverage is capped for rehabilitation at 100 days, and is often cut off well before that. Some people have long-term care insurance, but with costs rising and more companies exiting the market, the people who need long-term care insurance can’t afford it, and those who can afford it don’t need it.
This means most people in a Nursing Home are on a Medicaid Spenddown, draining their estate at as much as $13,000 per month until it is gone. At that point, Ohio Medicaid jumps in to cover the cost.
Can I protect my assets from the Medicaid Spenddown?
With proper planning, you can protect some or all of your estate from a Medicaid Spenddown. Generally, it takes 5 years to fully protect an asset; however, if you or a loved one enters a Nursing Home, there still may be ways to protect some of what you have. However, planning is still necessary, because without the proper estate planning documents done in advance, you and your family could lose everything.
Should I try to do it on my own?
Nursing Home planning may be the most complex area of law we practice in. The rules are often confusing, unclear, or applied inconsistently. For these reasons, you shouldn’t attempt to plan on your own. Working closely with an Elder Law Attorney, like those at Cooper, Adel, Vu & Associates, we can help craft a plan suited to your own individual situation designed to protect as much as possible and get you qualified for Nursing Home benefits.
*Dually certified by the National Elder Law Foundation as Certified Elder Law Attorneys and the Ohio State Bar Association as Specialists in the Area of Elder Law.