Having an incapacity plan is vitally important. You never know when catastrophe may strike, and even the youngest and healthiest among us are vulnerable to illness and accidents.
Incapacity Planning is Critical
That’s why it’s critical to plan in advance. With an incapacity plan, you use a living trust and/or other legal documents, called advance directives, to help ensure your wishes are honored if you reach a point at which you can no longer care for yourself. You appoint people of your choosing to take over your financial and medical decision-making, and you let your doctors know your preferences for end-of-life care.
What About Medicaid Planning?
What would happen if you became disabled and needed nursing home care? Unless you already meet the strict financial requirements for Medicaid eligibility, the cost of your care would come out of your pocket. And nursing homes are expensive – paying for care can deplete the life savings of all but the wealthiest among us.
You Need “Medicaid Triggers”
This is why many people choose Medicaid planning to position themselves to receive benefits. But if you’re disabled, you can’t plan for yourself; and your disability plan might not permit your agent to engage in Medicaid planning on your behalf. Unless your plan has “Medicaid triggers,” language that complies with Medicaid rules and specifically permits your agent to do Medicaid planning, your disability could mean a dead end when it comes to qualifying for Medicaid.
To find out if your incapacity plan includes “Medicaid triggers” – or to put a plan in place – contact a qualified estate planning attorney.