Preparing for retirement
(The following is a dramatization.)
The Millers are a couple in the Charlotte area. Bob used to run a heating and AC company, but a car crash left him with limited mobility and he took early retirement. Alice is nearing her own retirement from the medical records office where she has worked for 25 years. What they really want is at least a few years of comfortable, dignified, independent retirement, but with both of them suffering various health problems, they don’t know how long they will be able to maintain their independence.
They’ve finally paid off the mortgage on their house. They own two cars — and also a small speedboat, which Bob bought during his mid-life crisis but hasn’t used in years. They both have 401Ks, Social Security and stock dividends. They have life insurance policies naming each other as beneficiaries, and, with help from an elder law attorney, have made out their wills in such a way as to make sure their four children and nine grandchildren will benefit from their estate. But between where they are now and the great beyond lies a different undiscovered country — the nursing home, which promises to be very expensive. More expensive than they can afford if they hope to leave anything to their children.
Medicaid and Medicaid law
So if either of them goes into a nursing home, Medicaid will need to be involved. The Millers already know that Medicaid has income and resource limits, but they don’t know the details, and Bob has spent enough time in business to know that those details are likely to be important.
So the Millers go looking for information about asset protection for the elderly as it applies to Medicaid. They learn there are different types of Medicaid, and until they know what sort of help they’ll need, they won’t know what type applies to them. If one of them were to go into a nursing home, they would both be allowed to retain $10,000 in life insurance, but it would be only $1,500 if one of them went into an assisted living center. The look-back periods for transferring assets out of their name would also be different by asset protection from elderly.
After several hours of trying to make sense of the increasingly confusing information they find, they call an elder law attorney, who explains to them how best to use Medicaid law for asset protection for the elderly.
Help with asset protection for the elderly in Gastonia, NC
Robert C. Whitt is a Gastonia attorney, servicing the areas of Gastonia, Charlotte, Mount Holly and Gaston, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties and surrounding communities. He focuses on wills, trusts and other aspects of elder law. Call and make an appointment today.