Does my living trust protect my home from being taken by the state to pay for nursing home costs?
A living trust doesn't protect your assets from being taken to pay for nursing home, but we can help.
In Arizona, the short answer is no, a living trust does NOT protect your assets if you need to pay for a nursing home. In fact, in some circumstances, having your home in a living trust can increase the costs a family must bear to pay for a loved one’s long term care. Therefore, when getting an estate plan, it is extremely important – especially for seniors – not to just “buy documents” at the cheapest price from someone in your community or online. If you have worked your entire life, you should be sure to structure your estate planning portfolio with an elder law attorney in Chandler so it considers the risks of paying for long term care and protects you.
For a living trust to protect your assets from been taken to pay for nursing home, you need to talk to the correct type of attorney. An elder law attorney will be able to help you properly. Before preparing an estate plan or applying for ALTCS – the Medicaid program in Arizona that pays for long term care – we recommend seniors consult with an attorney to determine what steps they should take to maximize their chances of qualifying for benefits. Many of our clients who purchased cheap estate plans are surprised to discover that simply putting a home and bank accounts in an inexpensive living trust may in fact disqualify a senior from ALTCS benefits. An elder law attorney can help you navigate these risks and get you the most money. An elder lawyer is specialized not only as an estate planning attorney, but also an elder law attorney will be able to include in your estate planning the specific language to help you with wealth preservation.
Living trusts are essential tools for an estate planning attorney to warehouse family assets. These are the most common types of trusts and in fact make up a vital part of an estate plan generally. However, estate planning for elderly clients understandably must take into account different concerns and considerations. You can't just buy a will or living trust and hope for the best. Younger clients are often concerned with the health and welfare of their minor children, paying for college, and ensuring a surviving spouse will have protections in place to care for minor children if the other parent passes away prematurely. Younger clients rarely have their own mortality on their minds. Yes, they understand they could pass away at some point, and their concerns revolve around making sure their surviving spouse and young children can smoothly transition to a long life without the deceased spouse or parent. But for most younger clients, the possibility of death seems very remote.
This contrasts greatly from our older clients who usually have very different concerns. Seniors are more conscious of their mortality and have a very sober understanding of the difficulties that may lie ahead. They have likely experienced first hand the loss of a friend or loved one and seen the financial devastation that results from fighting a long term care illness or dementia. In the entire population, roughly half of all people will require long term care at some point in their lives. However, when considering only the older population, this number increases dramatically. If we look only at the population age 65 and older, almost 3 in 4 seniors (close to 75%) will require some form of long term care. Studies suggest over half of those who move into a nursing home community will reside there for more than a year. And almost a quarter of those who move into a nursing home community will reside there for 3 years or more. If you are sixty years of age or older, you need an estate planning attorney that knows elder law well so the lawyer can you help you protect your assets from been taken by the state to cover nursing home costs.
We therefore recommend consulting with an elder lawyer at Citadel Law Firm, PLLC in Chandler when considering how to pay for long term care in Arizona. We find most clients are able to recoup the cost of the elder law attorney fees in the first month or two after qualifying for ALTCS benefits if they hire an elder law attorney or asset protection attorney to help them structure their estate planning correctly. Call today at (480)565-8020 to schedule you free consultation to go over your elder law needs. We can help you create the correct type of living trust to protect your assets from been taken to pay for nursing home expenses and usually get you qualified for ALTCS within a few months.