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Special needs trusts and Medicaid planning

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2018 | trusts

Most people who think of estate planning think about the process where a plan is devised to distribute assets to loved ones upon that individual’s death. Of course, this makes up a significant portion of estate planning, but it doesn’t account for all of it. Powers of attorney, for example, dictate who will make important financial and health decisions in the event that an individual becomes incapacitated. Another aspect of estate planning involves considering the potential need for long-term care.

Long-term care can be incredibly expensive, thereby threatening the financial health of even the most robust estates. Many Arizonans believe that government benefits like Medicaid will cover their expenses, but the truth of the matter is that a significant number of individuals do not qualify from Medicaid. This is because this program has income limitations. In other words, those who make too much money are barred from receiving compensation from Medicaid.

There are ways to plan around these Medicaid restrictions, though. For example, a special needs trust can allow an individual to invest in his or her future healthcare without those funds counting towards his or her income. Therefore, individuals can set money aside to pay for their future medical expenses, thereby reducing their income and assets that are counted for Medicaid purposes. This is an efficient way to ensure that government benefits can be obtained without losing much needed assets.

This is just one of the many ways Arizonans can plan for their potential need for long-term care. In fact, in many instances, Medicaid isn’t enough to cover all expenses incurred. Therefore, those engaging in estate planning need to carefully consider how best to plan for their care in the event that it is needed for the long-term. An experienced legal team can assist with this process. Although it isn’t easy to plan for the future, it is important to be informed and prepared.