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Preserving your parents’ access to Medicaid and their legacy

There’s a tremendous responsibility riding on your shoulders as the adult child of an aging parent. It may seem like all the burden of ensuring that your parent can afford nursing home care should the need arise in the future rests in your hands. You likely want to ensure that they’ll have the finances available to cover any other costs they may have and perhaps that they can leave a little inheritance behind for future generations.

Unless your parents come from significant wealth, then they may need to count on their receipt of Medicaid benefits for the costly fees to reside in a nursing home. This needs-based program has eligibility requirements. They may not be eligible to receive the necessary Medicaid benefits to afford nursing home care unless they take measures now to ensure that they will.

What you need to know about Medicaid benefits

Medicaid generally requires individuals to use up any assets they have before starting paying for someone’s care. The government health care program will also come after your parents’ estates for any amounts that they pay out once they die. As you might imagine, with nursing homes costing several thousand dollars per month to live in, Medicaid’s recovery of these funds can quickly deplete any inheritance your parents’ planned to leave behind to you or your kids. Medicaid may seize their home and retirement account as part of this.

Protecting your parents’ future Medicaid eligibility and finances

Long-term disability and asset protection planning are two aspects of the estate planning process that you can take part in now to preserve your parents’ future Medicaid eligibility. Other estate planning tools, such as funding a trust, may allow you to shield their assets from potential creditors down the road.

There’s no time to apprise yourself of the options to ensure that your aging parents will be eligible for Medicaid when the time comes that they need it. You should learn more about how to shield their assets from creditors, as this is key to their leaving a legacy behind.