The phrase “asset protection”can mean many things to many people. For an elder law attorney, asset protection involves the planning process in which an individual or couple can protect their hard earned assets from being liquidated to pay long-term care costs.
There are several ways to pay for long-term care, whether it be in a skilled nursing facility, assisted living, or in-home services. Private pay, long-term care insurance, and Medicaid are the primary methods of paying for long-term care.
Private pay includes using an individual or couple’s resources or even the resources of family members. These resources can include income, savings, retirement accounts and even the family home.
The cost of long-term care varies by nursing home. The costs can differ depending on whether the nursing home provides assisted living, skilled nursing or whether the room is semiprivate or private. Annual costs can range from $60,000 to over $100,000 per year for an individual. Private pay is not an option for many Americans. Therefore, the need for long-term care insurance or Medicaid are the primary methods for paying for long-term care.
Without long-term care insurance or Medicaid one’s assets can be spent very quickly, leaving little for a spouse or children. Asset protection planning with an elder law attorney can help you provide financially for yourself, a spouse or children in the event long-term care becomes a reality for a loved one.
Asset protection planning can take two forms: crisis planning and preventive planning. Talk to an elder law attorney to learn more.