One thing that is a consideration during asset preservation planning is the look-back period. For Medicaid, there is a five year look-back period, and while they don’t have it yet, there is talk about a three year look-back period for VA Benefits. So, one of the biggest questions we get is:
When should the planning start?
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses the five year look-back period for Medicaid and explains why starting planning sooner is better than later for safely protecting your assets from long-term care costs.
The Sooner the Look-Back Period Starts, The Sooner It Ends
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. Let me give you today a good reason that if you are a senior, I’ll define that as anybody who is retired, that it really behooves you to undertake planning to protect your life savings from long-term care … basically, the sooner the better.
One of the things that is always a consideration in the planning is what’s called the look-back period, five years for Medicaid and, they don’t have it yet, but they’re talking about three years for the VA. And the concern, of course, is that if you’re trying to answer the question – “How soon will I need long-term care?” – that question’s impossible to answer.
I like to think of it in terms of playing a game of Beat the Hidden Clock. The buzzer’s going to go at some point, but you can’t see the clock so you don’t know when the buzzer’s going to sound. And there’s really only one best strategy for playing that game and that is to start as soon as you can. The sooner the five years for the look-back period starts, the sooner it’s going to end. And the sooner it ends, the sooner you’ll know that your assets have been safely protected. Thanks.
For more information on Asset Preservation Planning, visit these articles:
- What is a Look-Back Rule?
- What if the VA Enacts a Look-Back rule and Transfer Penalty?
- What’s the Difference Between Estate Planning and Asset Preservation Planning?
- Long Term Care Costs: The Biggest Threat to your Financial Future
“Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey”
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 (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.