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Long-term care planning can avoid spending down of assets

Despite the fact that many elderly persons lose substantial assets to long-term care expenses, the fact is that there are abundant remedies and planning tools that could have been used to avoid such disasters. Seeing one's home go to reimburse Medicaid, for example, is generally avoidable with a  bit of early planning. To construct a plan that will protect assets and allow for long-term care assistance in accordance with federal and Texas laws, it is necessary to consult with one's estate planning attorney and, in many cases, with a financial planning  professional.   

Where there are two or more professionals onboard, they will work as a team and coordinate their efforts to assure maximum asset preservation. Some of the legal tools that are used are irrevocable living trusts, qualified annuities and veterans' benefits. If a person starts early enough, there is likely a strong long-term care planning strategy that can be implemented to preserve the bulk of one's assets for the designated heirs.

The planning strategy would work as an alternative to the usually unsatisfying method of spending down one's assets so that one may qualify for long-term care funded by Medicaid. Without long-term care planning, a family can become totally impoverished if there is a long stay in a qualified facility. But planning that starts early enough can provide a shelter for assets that is recognized as being legal and appropriate.

The process may involve placing the assets in an irrevocable trust, a process that will assure that the property passes to one's heirs. Additionally, some families may qualify to purchase long-term care insurance or a hybrid modification of that insurance. There are many options emerging in the area of insurance planning that can be affordable for many families. The selection of the best strategy for Texas residents depends on many circumstances and is best determined in a joint effort with qualified professionals, including an attorney who is experienced in long-term care planning.

Source: dallasweekly.com, "Long-Term Care Planning", Aimee Griffin, Oct. 12, 2015

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