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Why asset protection is so important if someone needs Medicaid

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Asset Protection

Growing old often means accepting help in areas where someone was previously independent. Older adults sometimes move in with family members or require professional support. They may have a nurse come out to their home every day to facilitate intensive medical treatment or arrange to move into a nursing home facility.

Although some adults in Nevada can pay for more intensive care with their own resources, others struggle to cover those costs. A nursing home, for example, typically costs thousands of dollars a month. Applying for Nevada Medicaid benefits may help older adults cover nursing home costs or pay for skilled nursing support in their own homes. Advance asset protection planning can take some of the risk out of applying for Medicaid benefits.

The following are major risks that someone who is seeking Medicaid may face if they don’t engage in asset protection planning.

Someone may not qualify

The most pressing concern for an older adult who needs support is that their resources may prevent them from qualifying for Medicaid. The state will look at every asset someone owns, other than their home, when determining whether or not they can receive benefits. Asset protection planning typically involves changing how people hold certain assets. Those adjustments can help someone qualify for benefits quickly later in life because they will have fewer resources in their own name.

Benefits can diminish someone’s legacy

Even if someone qualifies for Medicaid because their only sizable asset is their home, asset protection planning may still be a smart decision. Otherwise, even the house where they raise their children could be at risk after they die. The Nevada Medicaid Estate Recovery Program can take legal action against someone’s estate if they received benefits in their golden years.

The goal is to recover as much as possible from the estate to repay the Nevada Medicaid program for the benefits someone received. Those recovery efforts could force the sale of someone’s home and leave nothing for their children or other beneficiaries. The only way to prevent the Medicaid recovery program from laying claim to personal resources is usually to plan long before someone might require benefits.

Asset protection planning can give an older adult peace of mind by better ensuring that they can secure benefits quickly when the need arises. They can also protect someone’s loved ones and their legacy by reducing the risk of the state taking legal action against someone’s estate after they die. As a result, thinking carefully about future medical needs and the legacy one hopes to leave could help someone create a more useful and protective estate plan.

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