In California, institutionalized spouse may keep only $2,000. I cannot really afford to buy long term care insurance. Does my retirement money (401K, IRA) count toward Medi-Cal Income and Resource Limits of $2000? What options do I have? Is it a good idea putting my money in a bank safety box? I am about 50 year old. Thank you.
Even I am only 50, but should I do it when I reach about 60 year old. Thanks.
As both attorneys point out, you need to get with an experienced estates attorney to get your estate plan in order. For more on the estate planning process and related issues see Estate Planning Mistakes: 5 Not So Easy Pieces at http://www.sjfpc.com/estate_planning_drafting_wills_trusts.html. Be sure to hit the like button at the end of this article if you found it helpful.
Hope this helps.
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You are young enough that you likely have lots of time to plan for long term care expenses. You *may* be able to afford long term care coverage, because at your age, it will be cheaper. You can also pick and choose the options to make things more affordable.
You need to make sure that all of your estate planning is in order. You may NEVER need long term care coverage. But at some point, you will leave this world, and what happens to your assets will depend on whether you leave instructions or what state law says, if you do NOT leave instructions. You should also have a general durable power of attorney for health care and for financial matters, so that if you ever DO become incapacitated, YOU get to choose the person(s) who take care of you and your finances.
You should meet with an estate planning attorney to review your objectives and determine how best to proceed. You are very wise to be thinking of these things, now, at a time when there is a lot of different options available for you.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.
All assets including cash in a safe deposit box would have to be disclosed if you apply for benefits.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.
Let's be really blunt here, to keep you out of trouble. If you put your cash in a safe deposit box and apply for Medi-Cal without disclosing it to the State, the State may put you in a safe deposit box called a jail cell. There are much better and more legitimate ways to plan and qualify for Medi-Cal benefits. You should by all means consult a qualified attorney.
The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult an attorney.