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Medicaid planning requires knowledge of the system

Anyone approaching the age of 65 understands there are few options for paying for long-term care if he or she should need it. Unfortunately, the chances of needing long-term care are high. In fact, at age 65, one has a 70 percent chance of requiring this kind of support at some point in the future, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is why Medicaid planning is an essential part of preparing for one's golden years.

Unless one has significant savings or long-term care insurance, Medicaid is the only option for paying for nursing care as one ages. The laws in every state may vary, so seeking the advice of a Georgia attorney is a good way to obtain the most current and relevant information about long-term planning. However, the general rules for qualifying for Medicaid include a severe limitation on the amount of assets one may own. For many, this may mean giving away their assets or spending them down, but not within five years before applying for Medicaid.

Other options include establishing various types of trusts to protect one's assets and still qualify for Medicaid benefits. Qualified Income Trusts, Pooled Income Trusts and others become the owners of the assets, and the trust creator can maintain the use of the assets and still have them to pass on to family at the end of the trustor's life. Passing assets to others during one's lifetime, such as cash or Georgia real estate, can have negative consequences both for the giver and the receiver.

Medicaid planning can be very complicated because of the many rules for eligibility. Making a mistake can result in disqualification or a penalty that could delay one's acceptance into the program. It is best not to delay in seeking information about the options that are most appropriate for one's individual needs.

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At Hodges Law Firm, we handle a wide range of legal issues for clients throughout the Atlanta area, including elder law, estate planning, probate, Medicaid planning and protection, asset protection, litigation, and business law and services. We are knowledgeable in the law and understand the real life implications of legal actions.