There are three kinds of people. Those that watch things happen. Those that make things happen. And those that wonder what happened.
If you find yourself thinking, “We don’t have enough to protect”, “We thought only rich people did Asset Protection Planning”, “We’re too young to begin protecting our assets”, or worse yet, “We’re too old to try to save anything”, you may soon be one of those people that wondered what happened to all their hard-earned assets.
Why should you care? Because if you don’t protect assets, long-term care costs can devastate the average American estate. In fact, 50% percent of people entering a nursing home are broke within six months.
So what assets can you keep if you need long-term care in the future? Not many. If you’re a single person in Ohio, you get to keep $1,500.
If your spouse needs Medicaid in Ohio, you may have heard that some assets are “exempt.” Those assets include:
- Primary residence: to be considered exempt, you must hold title to your home and at least one of you must reside in it.
- One car: fair market value of car is exempt and it must be titled in at least one of your names.
- Whole Life insurance: maximum combined face value of $1,500, all Term insurance (no cash value) and Group insurance provided through a previous employer.
- Pre-paid funeral: must be irrevocable to be exempt, otherwise purchase price of funeral is considered an asset.
- One cemetery lot each.
Keep in mind, EXEMPT doesn’t always mean GET TO KEEP. It often means you get to USE it until both spouses have passed away. At that point, the state can claim it through a program known as Estate Recovery.
Anything other than those assets listed are fair game in the world of Medicaid. They’ll be counted and combined to determine your net worth. Have a second car? Boat? Vacation home? Stocks? Bonds? These too have their values pooled into the asset pot.
So why is Asset Protection Planning important?
- Get peace of mind: know that what you’ve worked your entire life for won’t be lost to a nursing home.
- Ensure your wishes are followed: assets are distributed according to your wants, not mandated by a Court or Probate Estate.
- Minimize catastrophic long-term care costs: you won’t spend every last penny paying for a nursing home.
If you think this is not you, think again! Legal issues affecting the elderly are growing in number. The population is aging. Older Americans may have never faced a lot of the situations that are pertinent today.
The time is now to contact our experienced Attorney’s at AlerStallings who will help you realize the benefits of Asset Protection planning and bring you peace of mind knowing you’re planning now to save for later.