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How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help Protect Assets?

Elders need a solid plan to secure their financial legacy and protect their wealth. Senior citizens must consult elder law attorneys in Santa Rosa about how they can use elder law to protect their assets. An elder law attorney can help protect your assets if you need long-term care.

If you run out of money to pay for your care, your elder law attorney will help you apply for Medicaid. Medicaid pays for elderly citizens who exhaust their financial resources and are no longer able to pay for their nursing home. Medicare rules allow elderly citizens who have run out of money to keep their home.

Much has changed over the years. In 1994, a new program named Medicaid Estate Recovery came into effect. Under this program, states can sell a Medicaid beneficiary’s home after their death to recover payments made under the Medicaid program.

To avoid estate recovery, you need to plan well in advance with your elder law attorney in Santa Rosa. Here are some ways to pay for long-term care.

Long-term Care Insurance

Privately purchased long-term care insurance provides coverage for nursing home care, adult day care, personal care, and home health care.

Long-term care insurance policies are usually more flexible and provide more options than public assistance programs such as Medicaid.

Long-term care insurance, however, can be expensive and is not for everyone. These plans are generally most cost-effective when purchased before 60.

Asset Protection Trusts

An asset protection trust provides for funds to be held on a discretionary basis. An irrevocable trust transfers assets to the control of the trustee. Asset protection trusts are usually set up to mitigate the effects of taxation, bankruptcy, or divorce.

Personal Care Agreements

Many elderly citizens pay a lump sum to their caregivers for future services. If you want to go the route of personal care agreements, you need an attorney to accurately structure the agreement to ensure it is not considered a penalized transfer.

There are several benefits to a personal care agreement. It can reduce the size of your estate, helping you qualify for Medicaid. A personal care agreement will buy you some care beyond what Medicaid provides. An agreement can also help ensure that the burden of caregiving does not fall disproportionately on a particular child.

The team at Johnston Thomas Law comprises experienced elder law attorneys in Santa Rosa. Over the years, we have helped several senior citizens ensure a smooth transition to retirement. Our knowledgeable attorneys will help you determine the best estate planning instruments according to your situation. To discuss your requirements with one of our attorneys, call 707-545-6542.

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