Planning for the possibility of needing long-term medical care is something few do in Florida or across the country. Some postpone this planning because they simply don’t want to deal with the task and its implications. Other do not believe they will need long-term care. Unfortunately, those who reach the age of 65 have a 70% chance of requiring some kind of extensive health care or related support for the rest of their lives. Those who have not done any Medicaid planning may be in a desperate situation.

Saving enough to afford the kind of prolonged care one might need is next to impossible, especially if one is already nearing retirement age. Those who expect to rely on Medicaid to cover their costs may find themselves in a financial dilemma. To qualify for Medicaid, an applicant may not have more assets than Florida law allows. However, to spend down or give away those assets to qualify may result in a delay in eligibility.

Fortunately, there are options available to help seniors qualify for Medicaid while preserving their hard-earned wealth. Among these are a variety of trusts. A trust becomes the owner of assets a senior funds to it, and some trusts can even provide the trustee with an income and distribute the remaining assets to any heirs. However, not all trusts will protect a senior from Medicaid’s penalties.

To ensure one has a trust that will be an effective part of Medicaid planning, it is wise to reach out to a skilled estate planning attorney. An attorney should be knowledgeable of Florida’s laws related to Medicaid. With the right tools in place, one can look forward to the future with some peace of mind.