Your parent is getting up in years. He or she may not want to admit it, but it is clear that everyday tasks are becoming a struggle. You think it is time to start looking into assisted living or even a nursing home — maybe not for use right away, but soon. How do you know if your parent is really ready for that?
From a physical or mental aspect, it may be clear to you that he or she needs help. You may be right. However, the timing of when to place your parent in an assisted living or nursing home facility for the care he or she needs is everything. Why? Asset protection.
Why is asset protection so important?
Hopefully, nursing home and Medicaid planning is something your parent has already done. If not, though, and you moved him or her into such a facility, he or she could end up losing everything, and you, as the likely beneficiary to the estate, could miss out on your intended inheritance.
Not all insurance providers cover the cost of nursing homes. Medicaid does, to a point. If assets do not have proper protection, though, they may face depletion to cover the cost of care. If they utilize Medicaid, assuming they even qualify, current laws allow Medicaid to come after assets to recover expenses after your parent’s death. The good news is, it may be possible to avoid this.
Take the right steps
Wondering what you can do to protect assets before finding a nursing home for your parent? First, determine if your parent even qualifies for Medicaid. Whether a person qualifies depends on the number of assets and amount of income he or she has. It is possible to move things around and stick assets in trusts, but you generally need to make these moves years in advance for the assets not to count against one’s Medicaid eligibility.
Second, look at your parent’s estate plan if one exists. Maybe everything is already in a trust. If your parent doesn’t have an estate plan, now is a good time to talk to him or her about making one.
Third, reach out to nursing homes to learn more about monthly costs and accepted insurances. Get any questions you have about available care and living options answered. The more you know, the easier it is to decide where to place your parent when the time comes.
Help your parent make the best decision for him or her
No one wants to give up one’s independence, but for many Illinois residents, a time comes when living at home is no longer in their best interests because it simply isn’t safe to do so. If your parent is getting to this point or already is, you can help make the best decision for him or her regarding future care. You can also help get things in order so that receiving that care doesn’t mean the loss of all assets.
William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I’ll help you!
Call me at 309-674-8125, visit at www.wombacherlaw.com
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Peoria Heights, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton, Galesburg, Lacon, Henry, Bloomington, Normal and surrounding cities and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and Knox Counties in Central Illinois.