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Medicaid planning among most common elder law issues

When you think about your future, do you think about your medical care? If not, perhaps it is time to begin. As Florida residents live longer lives, the concern about future medical care has become one of the most common elder law issues in the state. Medicaid planning is one way to ensure your future medical care, especially should the need for long-term care arise, does not leave your estate depleted.

According to advice from financial professionals, the first way some try to protect assets from being applied to the cost of long-term care is by the transfer of assets. Unfortunately, one cannot simply transfer assets to others and then be eligible for Medicaid. To prevent people from taking advantage of the system, a "look back period" is in place that bases a person?s eligibility on the length of time since an asset?s transfer and the value of that asset.

The second way some try to protect assets is throughout the use of trusts. Generally, irrevocable trusts, instead of revocable, must be used in Medicaid planning strategies. However, it is important to recognize that even irrevocable trusts are subject to a look back period of 60 months.

Due to the complexity of the regulations concerning Medicaid eligibility, most Florida residents dealing with elder law issues seek the help of experienced attorneys. An estate planning professional will have a complete understanding of current regulations. With this knowledge, he or she can help a client protect not only his or her own future but also his or her family?s future.

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