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Elder Planning Isn't Just For The Elderly

How do I protect my assets from long-term care?

Nursing home care in New York can cost a fortune. In fact, when you reach the point in life that you require long-term care, it can be difficult to finance your health care needs without reaching into personal assets. If you want to protect your assets from a lengthy and expensive stay in a nursing home, you might consider a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, called a MAPT.

In general, long-term care can be funded in three different ways:

  • Assets
  • Long-term-care insurance
  • Government-supplied health care, usually Medicaid

Yet, what happens if you do not have long-term-care insurance? What if you do not qualify for Medicaid? Is there a way to protect your assets? The answer is "yes." To make certain that your assets are distributed to your children, you might opt for a MAPT.

What is a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust?

The possibility of losing most or all your estate to long-term care is a genuine issue. Through a MAPT, you can appoint an adult child as a trustee while you (and your husband or wife) serve as the beneficiary. Assets allocated to the MAPT will not be distributed to your heirs until you (and your spouse) have passed away. This way, you can protect your personal assets not only from Medicaid recovery after your death, but also from creditors and your children's divorces during life.

Though the MAPT is an irrevocable trust, you can still replace your trustee(s) and alter the way assets will be distributed among your heirs. Of course, the trust can be flexible; the particular approach will depend on your needs and wants. A lawyer can help you sort through potential options.

Whatever assets you place in this trust will not be reachable by nursing homes or other providers for long-term care expenses. Therefore, your assets will be protected in the event that you need assistance.

Do you want to learn more about asset protection? Speak with a local elder law attorney about how to preserve your estate.

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