may not be able to buy it or afford it. I have heard about a Medicare Trust or a Family Limited Partnership as ways to avoid Medicaid "spend down". Are either of these 2 good options for us?
Depending on you and your wife's personal situation one of these two options may make sense. There are a lot of factors to weigh when considering these protection tools. Factors such as your current financial situation, whether you and your wife are in good health currently, the current assets you own, etc.
One of the most important factors with these two options is that both options only protect assets once they are titled or placed inside one of these vehicles for 5 years. If you would ever need Medicaid to pay for your long-term care, the Medicaid application looks back and asks the applicant whether they have gifted or transferred ownership of any assets for less than fair market value in the last 5 years. If you have, then that asset is likely not protected.
Both of these legal tools would likely be considered a transfer of ownership for less than fair market value. So, if you are considering either of these legal options, be aware that the protections only accrue if the asset(s) has been titled/placed in the legal entity 5 years prior to applying for care.
This is just one of many factors that need to be evaluated with either a Medicaid Trust or a Family Limited Partnership. I would strongly suggest talking to an attorney in the Tucson area who can look at you and your wife's situation and advise you on whether this type of planning makes sense.
Attorney Vanevenhoven is licensed to practice law in Wisconsin. The foregoing is intended solely to provide additional information to the person posting the question and anyone reading the question or answers provided. There is no legal advice provided nor does this answer create an attorney-client relationship. This informational answer is not legal advice and should not be relied on, since is it is impossible to evaluate a legal issue without a comprehensive consultation and a review of all important facts and issues. Attorney Vanevenhoven strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
Gregory did a good job answering this question. Generally, LTC is best purchased around age 55 when you have no health issues. However, there is no harm in getting a quote now. Since it is an underwritten product, you may not be insurable if you have significant health problems.
Even though there is a 5 year look back rule, in most cases a Medicaid planner can find ways to preserve some of your assets.
I echo my colleagues' advice. There are likely numerous methods to protect your assets. Some will require the five year waiting period and others will not. I would hire an experienced elder law attorney. The money you spend on the elder law attorney will be one of your best investments, as it will protects a substantial amount of your assets. I have been impressed with Robert Fleming, who practices in Tucson, when we have talked at national conferences. Best of luck/
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline