Articles

Here is Question 5 and Our Answer

And the last question and answer is….

Question #5: “Can you explain the 5 year look back for nursing homes?” 

The biggest issue facing middle-class folks, is “What happens if I need a nursing home for $150,000 a year for five years?”. As we know, Medicare doesn’t pay for long term care stays in a nursing home. The only agency that does is Medicaid, but you need to be eligible. We use certain types of trusts so that after five years, they cannot ask you about that money since they have a five year look back period. If you apply for Medicaid for long term care for yourself or for a loved one, on the application, you have to declare if you have transferred anything in the last five years. By planning ahead, you can confirm that you transferred asests more than five years ago. If we get to the five year look back period, the assets in the trust are protected. 

Pre-planning vs Crisis Management

However, if you don’t make it to the five years landmark, it is considered a crisis case. In our office, we divide our clients into two different categories. We have the pre-planners, and what we call our crisis management cases. When people call our office, and they’re in a nursing home, it’s a crisis because they likely didn’t plan five years ahead. When people do planning five years ahead of time, it means their assets are protected if they need long term care after five years. 

We can still protect some assets even after someone is in a nursing home but this is why I urge people to plan ahead. This is also why estate planning is not a transaction, where we try to shove some document down your throat. Instead we need to do some planning for any eventuality, and ideally not wait until there is a crisis situation. This is why we offer so many educational programs like our radio show and podcast. We also host workshops called “Three Secrets to Protect your Legacy”. You can register for and attend these workshops at no cost. We will teach you the rules of the game to avoid making mistakes.

To learn more go to sechlerlawfirm.com/workshops and register for one of our upcoming estate planning workshops. We look forward to seeing you there!