Medicaid attorneys provide you with important help in protecting your assets. Biddinger & Bitzer can work closely with clients in Michigan’s shoreline communities to ensure that they have taken steps to keep their money and property secure. Unfortunately, there are many risks to your assets that could cause your own financial security to be lost or that could make it impossible for you to leave a legacy. To determine if you need to make an asset protection plan, make sure you can answer these five questions.
1. Do you have a plan to pay for long-term care?
For many seniors, long-term care costs end up costing them their life savings. Despite popular belief, Medicare typically won’t pay for nursing home care and it won’t pay for long-term care at home. The only way Medicare pays for care in a facility or for care at home is if you need skilled nursing care provided by professionals.
Most people who get care only need custodial care, or routine assistance with bathing, eating, and other activities of daily living. If you need long-term care that Medicare doesn’t cover, you’ll likely have two options to pay for it since most insurance does not cover it either: you could pay out of pocket or could get Medicaid to cover you. Medicaid is means-tested, so you might have to spend your wealth and impoverish yourself before you can get covered. However, this could be avoided if you worked with Medicaid attorneys to make a plan to protect some or all of your wealth.
2. Do you have a plan for incapacity?
If you become unable to manage your assets due to incapacity, losses could happen due to neglect while the process takes place that allows someone to be named as your guardian and put in charge of managing your wealth. If the court appoints the wrong person as guardian, the appointed guardian could also cause loss to occur by mismanaging your money. You don’t want these things to happen so you should make an incapacity plan that includes a power of attorney or otherwise uses legal tools to dictate who will be in charge of making your decisions and managing your assets in the event of your incapacity.
3. How will your assets transfer after you pass on?
Assets often pass through the probate process after a death, but this could cause your wealth to lose value. If you have a business or other assets that need to be actively managed by new owners right away, a lengthy probate process could lead to your assets declining in value. This undermines your efforts to leave a strong legacy for loved ones. You should consider creating a trust to allow your assets to pass through the faster trust administration process.
4. Will you owe estate tax?
If you have a large estate, your estate could be required to pay taxes on assets that pass on to heirs or beneficiaries after your death. If you must pay taxes, the value of the inheritance your heirs or beneficiaries receive could be substantially reduced. There are techniques that can be used to reduce or avoid estate tax and you should work with our legal team to find out about your options for reducing the taxes that your estate has to pay.
5. Do you have irresponsible heirs?
If you want to protect your wealth even after you’re gone, you may need to consider whether your heirs or beneficiaries will be able to manage the inheritance you provide to them. If you worry your loved ones who you’re leaving wealth to will lose it quickly to bankruptcy or irresponsible spending, you may wish to create a spendthrift trust. Your spendthrift trust can allow you to put a trustee in charge of managing trust assets who will have a fiduciary duty to act on the beneficiary’s behalf. The trustee you select should be someone responsible with money, who can protect your wealth and provide distributions from the trust periodically to your heirs or beneficiaries in accordance with your instructions.
Getting Legal Help from Medicaid Attorneys
The Medicaid attorneys at Biddinger & Bitzer provide asset protection planning help to clients from St. Clair to Presque Isle along Michigan’s eastern shoreline, including in the Thumb and northeast coast. We can provide invaluable advice on making your Medicaid plan and on taking other asset protection steps to keep your wealth safe during your life and after you pass on. To find out more about the different ways in which our legal team can help you with making an asset protection plan, give us a call at (989) 872-5601 or contact us online today.