Medicaid Planning & "Miller Trusts" (Qualified Income Trust)
As of 2017, the average cost of a nursing home facility in New Jersey was approximately $10,000 per month! Thinks about that - - that's well over $100,000 a year. And the cost is only going up, as more and more baby boomers begin to retire and need long term care. Who pays for that?
Unfortunately, unless you have a good long-term care insurance policy (LTCI), the short answer is: you do. True, Medicaid may eventually pay, but only after you have spent down virtually all of your assets. If you are married, your spouse who does not require nursing home level of care is able to keep some of your marital assets, but the amount is modest relative to what your spouse may need in order to maintain the same standard of living long term. What to do?
The answer is: PLAN. If you want to minimize the amount you will have to pay from your private funds on a nursing home, you need to plan well in advance. Medicaid has a look-back rule that goes back five-years (as of 2018) which means any transfers within that period of time will be scrutinized. There are other transfer rules and exceptions that apply as well, so you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.
Planning for the possibility of you or your spouse needing long term care is complex and involves many factors, but we can help make sense of it all. Feel free to contact us if you wish to discuss long-term care planning or if you need assistance in filing a Medicaid application. We can help you navigate that process.