Planning for the cost of long-term elder care is a critical component of estate planning and retirement planning. It is not uncommon for the cost of such care to be between $10,000 and $12,000/month in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Some estimates are that today, 70 percent of adults turning 65 will need some type of long-term care.* Just as we plan for ways to reduce taxes or reduce investment volatility in a retirement account, most people can benefit from some planning for long-term care costs.
While long-term care insurance can provide a valuable benefit during a period of need, for many people such insurance is just not affordable. In such a case, the attorneys at Herbst Law Group can review other planning options to ensure that, if a lengthy stay in a nursing home is necessary, assets are protected and do not need to be sold to pay for care to the extent it is needed. Many planning options exist, but some types of planning can create a transfer penalty that lasts for five years, and thus it becomes necessary to plan well in advance of any stay.
When a nursing home admission is imminent or has already occurred, the attorneys at Herbst Law Group can review the long-term elder care planning options that are available to a spouse or the other family members in order to best preserve assets for the benefit of the family. The process of applying for MassHealth benefits can be lengthy and time-consuming. For working adult children caring for an elderly parent while also being employed full-time and taking care of their own children and family, the MassHealth process can be especially stressful. Allowing a Medicaid attorney to guide you through the process, translate the requests of MassHealth, and serve as your advocate can relieve much of that stress.
In addition, before embarking on any MassHealth application, our attorneys review whether any further planning options are available to preserve assets. Our attorneys routinely utilize planning options such as single premium immediate annuities, funding of pooled trusts, and other permissible transfers and defend those procedures on MassHealth applications.
For individuals already receiving long-term care benefits with MassHealth, the sale of a home or receipt of an inheritance can terminate their eligibility for continuing benefits if it’s not handled properly. Our attorneys guide family members through these unique situations to ensure that any disruption in MassHealth benefits is as minimal as possible.