For most people, one of the primary motivations for creating an estate plan is to ensure that after death, estate assets are passed down to loved ones to help provide for them. A related goal, and one that is of equal importance, is asset protection. Failing to include asset protection strategies, such as Medi-Cal planning, in your comprehensive estate plan can result in a significant loss of assets during your retirement years, leaving very little to pass down to loved ones at the end of your life. A California Medi-Cal planning attorney can help you incorporate Medi-Cal planning into your overall estate plan to ensure that your hard-earned assets are protected.
The Need for Comprehensive Estate Planning
Although you may use a Last Will and Testament or a trust agreement as the foundation for your estate plan, you will undoubtedly need to incorporate additional tools and strategies into your plan to create a comprehensive estate plan. Only a comprehensive estate plan can address all of your estate planning needs and accomplish all your estate planning goals. One of the most important aspects of that plan should be asset protection. If you work hard and save wisely over the course of your lifetime, it would be a shame to not have anything left to pass down to loved ones at the end of that life because you failed to protect the estate you have.
How Medi-Cal Planning Protects Your Assets
When you think of protecting your assets, Medi-Cal planning is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. The reason for that is that most people do not realize what a threat the cost of long-term care can be to their retirement nest egg. As you age, your risk of needing long-term care (LTC) increases dramatically, both for you and for your spouse if you are married. If that risk becomes a reality, you will be faced with the need to pay for the cost of that care. As of 2017, the average cost of LTC in California is over $100,000 a year and the average length of stay in a LTC facility is two and a half years. Do not count on Medicare to help with the cost of LTC because Medicare only covers LTC expenses in very limited circumstances, and even then for only a very short period of time. Likewise, most basic health insurance plans also exclude the costs associated with LTC.
Not surprisingly, over half of all seniors currently in nursing home care rely on Medicaid to help with the costs of that care. Unless you can afford to pay for LTC out of pocket, you too may need to qualify for Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. Once again though, your assets may be at risk as a result of the need to qualify for Medi-Cal if you did not include Medi-Cal planning in your estate plan far enough ahead of time. Eligibility for Medi-Cal depends, in part, on your income and assets. If your non-exempt assets exceed the program limit you will have to “spend-down” those assets before Medi-Cal will approve you. This could result in a substantial loss of hard-earned assets. The key to protecting your assets and ensuring that you are eligible for Medi-Cal when the time comes is to include Medi-Cal planning in your comprehensive estate plan now.
Contact the Los Angeles Medi-Cal Attorneys at Schomer Law Group Today!
At Schomer Law Group, we are committed to helping you protecting the retirement nest egg you have spent years building up through careful Medi-Cal planning. Contact the Los Angeles, California office today by calling (310) 337-7696 or (562) 346-3209 or by filling out our online contact form.