In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses the advantages of pre-planning for Medicaid or VA Benefits.
If you’ve listened to very many of our other videos or looked around our website, you probably know that we tell people that the wisest thing in terms of planning to protect your life savings from long term care costs is to plan in advance, and not wait until you’re at the time of need.
The reason for that is that if you do it in advance of the look-back periods, then you’re home free at the point where you apply. So, the thing is, a lot of people here that part and they say, “Well, but I don’t know. I’m 80, I don’t know if I’ll make 5 years before I would have to go into a nursing home.” Actually 5 years Medicaid and 3 years VA. And so they say, “Well you know, I don’t want to do this because it just may not do me any good.”
Question: What happens if you don’t make it throughout the entire look-back? Have you wasted your time, effort and money on planning?
Answer: No, you absolutely haven’t.
Here’s the way you need to look at it. With a 5 year look-back, first of all, without any planning you have a forever look-back. You’re going to go to the nursing home, and you’re going to spend down until you’re down to the very small Medicaid asset limit – Currently $2k in Illinois and $5k in Missouri.
From the time that you’ve done the planning, you’re now down to 5 years being your worst case scenario for having to pay out of pocket. If you go into a nursing home 2 years later, now we’re down to 3 years as your worst case scenario. So every month that goes by, the amount of money you might wind up having to spend for the nursing home becomes less. Moreover, if we have somebody who would happen to go into a nursing home fairly soon after they’ve done the planning, there are ways that we can sort of, if you will, partially undo and partially redo the planning in a way that’s going to assure we’ve protected the greatest amount of your life savings possible.
So moral of this story, don’t wait. Come see us. Get that long-term care plan for protecting your life savings in place. You’re going to be very happy you did.
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.