If you are considering moving to an elder care facility or have an elderly family member who is thinking of transitioning to such a facility soon, you have probably worried about the costs of such care. It’s no secret that long-term care costs are often extremely high, and the prospect of spending years in a nursing home or other elder care facility can seriously damage or completely deplete all the assets you’ve saved. As a recent column by financial columnist Liz Weston points out, there are some practical steps you can take to help protect your assets from the high costs of elder care.
One possible way to protect your assets from nursing home expenses is to develop a Medicaid plan early on. You can use Medicaid to pay for extended care costs, but only if you meet the program’s stringent criteria. To do so you will have to create a Medicaid plan at least five years in advance of needing long-term care.
You should also consider creating financial powers of attorney to transfer financial decision-making abilities to someone else. This can ensure that if you are ever incapacitated and need to transfer to a nursing home facility, your agent will be able to maintain a seamless transition and ensure that your assets are not neglected. Additionally, you will want to develop a complete estate plan that takes advantage of as many legal protections as possible so you can shield your assets as much as you can.